Monday, September 30, 2019


Writing requires friction -- point A in tandem with or juxtaposed to point B. But where the sense of friction is lost, so the desire/drive to write also seems to dwindle.

Every morning, of late, I continue to scan the news wires -- a very old habit. But the sense of friction seems somehow to have dwindled and where once any topic could stir my verbal somersaults, now the excitement or interest appears to have run out of helium.

There is the impeachment hoo-rah about Donald Trump. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in hot water as he tries to lead Britain away from its participation in the European Union. And who knows what sigh of relief that other oligarch, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is breathing a sigh of relief that the world is focused on those troubled politicians and not on the fact that he is, or seriously might be, in judicial hot water. And then there is health care, wealth disparity, environment ... and the list rolls on, each item positing its mirror image and each more complex than my latter-day 'mind' can or will care about.

There was a time when I could write about anything. Now, nothing much seems worth writing about. It's age, I suppose, but it's also odd. Nowadays, I flow back to some earlier time ... and fly up my own reminiscing asshole ... and ... as it seems ... disappear.

"Form follows function" -- a useful observation that floats like a water drop in a space capsule. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Another one.  How does a threshing machine work? I had to look that one up. A technician is promised today ... someone who will straighten out the phone system which is on the fritz.

My wife and I drove into the hills yesterday. Leaves are changing, but I've forgotten the order ... is it green to yellow to red to brown or green to yellow to brown to red ... anyway, fall is on the way. Or, as CBS newsman Walter Cronkite once observed, "News isn't about how many cats did not get up on the garage roof."

Flying up my own reminiscing asshole ... smooth as dish soap. In the sixth, seventh and eighth grade, I carried a sheath knife with at least an eight-inch blade. No one thought anything of it -- they carried similar hardware ... it was mainly for cutting the string around bales of hay that needed to be shaken out for the horses or cows. Nowadays, such a tool would probably induce some good and kindly person to shit an 'altruistic' brick.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Trump helps to drain the swamp

In the midst of the impeachment tsunami that reared its roaring head last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, there are innumerable blind alleys, roads that lead to other roads ... and on and on it goes. Donald Trump may have been elected to "drain the (Washington legislative) swamp, but in the meantime, it seems, he has created his own.

And one of the indicators can be seen along the newswires.

Two weeks ago, every other story might have had Trump in the headline and left working Americans sucking hind tit. Now the headlines are as freighted by impeachment with the same frequency that Trump once ruled the waves. Every other story is an impeachment story .... Trump is not the focal point with his brazen lies: instead, the impeachment kerfuffle dominates the headlines and every other story is some aspect of that impeachment inquiry.

Impeachment may be wrong for all sorts of reasons, but getting Trump out of the headlines isn't one of them. What a relief to find other issues (Brexit, climate change, drug addiction, white supremacy, elections in the Middle East) floating to the surface.

What a relief not so see a tin-pan stand in for iron-pot issues. You know Trump is unlikely the drain the swamp of his own making, but lo-and-behold.....

Friday, September 27, 2019

impeachment piffle

Suddenly, there is no turning on the news without some new bit of information about the impeachment hearings, hopes, trajectories against U.S. President Donald Trump. Woo-hoo ... there is something satisfying about seeing the screw turn, if that's what it's doing. Trump is suddenly playing defense ... but ...

I think I would maintain that none of it matters. Trump, like George (the Shrub) Bush, has already served the purpose for which he was intended. The rest is eyewash. Trump's purpose was to reduce taxes on the wealthy. And he did it. And the Democrats helped. And the rest of us are fucked anew... or anyway that's my fake-news understanding.

Perhaps someone will correct this if it is too egregiously mistaken.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

shards andf snippets

Shards and snippets....

It's not so much, "I think, therefore I am" I suspect, but rather, "I want, therefore I am."


Over the past half-century, North America has lost more than a quarter of its entire bird population, or around 3 billion birds.
That's according to a new estimate published in the journal Science by researchers who brought together a variety of information that has been collected on 529 bird species since 1970.
Fewer birds, less song? Less song, less music? Less music, less magic?

The matter of music and magic is a matter of death minus the I'm-so-scared of it. To be swooned by music is a kind of death ... to give up everything for this delicious moment. A wowsers orgasm, perhaps.

Strange how giving things away can be so threatening on the one hand and so yearned-for in the same instant. Music is so comfortable that it is worth the surrender of positively everything. I thought of this when listening to portions of a latter-day TV series on country music by documentarian Ken Burns: The history is mildly interesting; the magic, where it is allowed to rise, envelopes me ... take me, I'm yours; take me, I'm nothing; really it's quite pleasant.

Can there be less music, less magic? I doubt it.

Bless the birds.

The start gun for impeachment hearings sounded yesterday. A little late in the day, given President Donald Trump's moral cowardice and outright lying, but better late than never. It was Trump, I believe, who foresaw his own downfall in impeachment hearings.

If true, then "from his mouth to God's ear." Because the Senate will never confirm such hearings, the House action is largely symbolic, but anything that turns up the fire on this man is probably a good thing.

Shards and snippets.

Monday, September 16, 2019

price per prayer

All things have a price – and if not, economists will find one. Researchers have calculated the going rate for thoughts and prayers offered in hard times.
This article left me utterly -- and I mean utterly -- flummoxed. What did it mean? What was its point? Why should I care? At what juncture could I find purchase and loll along in the lull of argument? Who thought up the thesis and then, by God, turned it into a "study?"  I desperately want to understand, but just plain don't.

Yes, OK ... I'm an old fart with dwindling capacities but, but, but .... what the fuck is going on?

Is there a cheat sheet that goes with this essay -- something to guide and support me? I'm lost, lost, lost.

Would it help if I asked for prayers... or eschewed them ... or something?

At least "Alice's Restaurant" makes some sense ....

I mean....
I mean .....


Thursday, September 12, 2019

beware the feral pigs!

Beware the feral pigs: They fuck like bunnies and are invading the U.S. from the north! They may or may not be a walking billboard for the large-capacity clips that some gun owners are keen to keep in their arsenals.
Feral pigs are widely known as “rototillers.” They root around for their food and spend much of their time wallowing in landscapes from farms and open fields to forests and riparian areas, leaving the terrains unrecognizable. Aside from the damages left behind, they are elusive in nature and often become nocturnal when “hunted or pressured by human activity,” said Ryan Brook, a researcher and assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan.
The pigs are also highly prolific.
Steuber said females birth around three litters every two years or so, and litters have been known to contain more than a dozen piglets. When grown, mature adults weigh on average between 120 and 250 pounds, but larger ones have tipped the scales at 400 pounds.
“They can decimate the range land by tearing up everything,” said Tahnee Szymanski, an assistant veterinarian with the Montana Department of Livestock.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Just get it straight.

There is magic everywhere.

Stop pretending it exists.

Or doesn't.

Monday, September 9, 2019

no hand-holders for this woman

A 77-year-old British woman has become the oldest person to sail around the world alone, non-stop, and unassisted.
Jeanne Socrates, from Lymington, Hampshire, completed her 320-day voyage in Victoria, Canada. She was accompanied by a flotilla of boats during the final moments of the journey, while hundreds of people cheered her on from the harbour.
The Royal Victoria Yacht Club congratulated Socrates on Saturday for completing her solo circumnavigation unassisted and setting the record for being the oldest person to do so.

ditch the climate dithering

Passed along in email:

What If We Stopped Pretending?

The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.

Finally, overwhelming numbers of human beings, including millions of government-hating Americans, need to accept high taxes and severe curtailment of their familiar life styles without revolting. They must accept the reality of climate change and have faith in the extreme measures taken to combat it. They can’t dismiss news they dislike as fake. They have to set aside nationalism and class and racial resentments. They have to make sacrifices for distant threatened nations and distant future generations. They have to be permanently terrified by hotter summers and more frequent natural disasters, rather than just getting used to them. Every day, instead of thinking about breakfast, they have to think about death.

undignosed-illness list

At least 25 dogs in Norway have fallen victim to the undiagnosed sickness, which causes severe vomiting and acute diarrhoea. Photograph: ROMAOSLO/Getty Images/iStockphoto   
Pods of whales, river fish by the score, chickens, diplomats in Cuba, [were there also eels in there somewhere], dogs in Norway ... the list of those struck by largely-undiagnosed illnesses seems to grow longer. Or maybe I'm just making it up.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein's little black book

I have to admit to a half-assed and ill-informed nosiness about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire who procured (with assistance) underage women for his sexual gratification. He was also, it appears, a very canny 'philanthropist.' Epstein's death in a New York jail cell was ruled a suicide (Aug. 11, 2019) by hanging -- a ruling I find hard to believe, but who am I to say? (Sociopaths don't commit suicide is my line of thinking). Epstein's lawyers also doubt suicide.

Not, apparently, in question, is Epstein's coterie of enablers or sycophants or whatever. Names like Bill Gates, the New York Times, MIT, TED talks ... crop up as those whose names need to be redacted from any upcoming lawsuits. The names in Epstein's little black book ... I wonder who will win the battle over whether and what and whom will be protected and kept out of the limelight. The ship is sinking and a variety of rats or look-like-rats are scrambling for the gunwales.

Can I keep up with it all? Nope. But one thing's for sure -- the rich and famous, the wealthy beyond compare and the oh-so-squeaky clean .... duck and cover, guys.

The Epstein scandal at MIT shows the moral bankruptcy of techno-elites Evgeny Morozov
The MIT-Epstein debacle shows ‘the prostitution of intellectual activity’. Time for a radical agenda: close the Media Lab, disband Ted Talks and refuse tech billionaires money.
And you thought Netflix had the latest and most up-to-date political trash/scandal tale.

Jeffrey Epstein's little black book....

oceanic heat wave

The ocean off the western coast of North America is five degrees Fahrenheit hotter than usual after warming at an unusually rapid rate, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).
It has been dubbed the “north-east Pacific marine heatwave of 2019”.
Marine heatwaves are defined as oceanic events in which the surface temperature of the water is warmer than 90% of past measurIf the abnormal patch does not dissipate soon, it could become as destructive as the so-called “blob” of warm water in the same area that, in 2014-2016, created toxic algae blooms, killed sea lions and endangered whales by forcing them to forage closer to shore.ements for at least five days in a row. The current heatwave is the second-largest since scientists started tracking the phenomenon in 1981, Noaa reported on Friday.

make "swoon" a transitive verb

Watching a TV program about the history of bluegrass music on TV last night, it became clear to me that I would prefer it if the word "swoon" were to become a transitive verb.

Back in the days of yore, when women cinched their waists to a breath-taking 15 inches, it was commonplace -- or anyway there was much-bruited anecdotal evidence -- for women to "swoon" at the first sign of any lapse in decorum.

[I know of no connections made between cinched waists and swooning, but since people are never quite as smart -- and never quite as stupid -- as you might imagine, I figure there was at least one bright penny who probably forged the links.]

Anyway, women swooned at the drop of an indecorous hat or so the stories are told. Swooning men were not similarly anointed or named: Swooning was not for those lesser lights.

But as I listened to the history of bluegrass music, I realized that some of its sharps and flats, banjos and mandolins, fiddles and guitars were utterly capable of swooning me. Music can swoon me and therefore deserved a role as a transitive verb -- not so much "I swoon" as "it swoons me." Beethoven's 9th does the same. And there are other segments of music that can creep in, curl up in a warming ball and ... just ... swoon me.

It's to die for....

Or is it just, "it kills me?"

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Texas bans dick pics

Big news out of Texas this week: sending unsolicited penis pictures is now against the law, punishable by a $500 fine.
You might be wondering why Texas, of all places, is leading the charge when it comes to legislation like this. The Lone Star state, after all, is normally more focused on loosening restrictions on guns than tightening protections for women. Well, it’s largely because the female-focused dating app Bumble is based in Austin and lobbied local politicians to make it happen.
“If indecent exposure is a crime on the streets, then why is it not on your phone or computer?” Bumble’s founder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, asked Texas lawmakers at a hearing earlier this year. “We have to call on you because as tech companies, we can only do so much.” Legislators agreed and the bill got bipartisan support.
My own utterly-unscientific, thoroughly-anecdotal take on the sexy bits of entertainment/movies goes something like this: Women's breasts are making inroads in what once was taboo ... even an occasional vaginal bomb zone shows up. Men's asses are making inroads, though not yet peckers. And everyone, from galumphy redneck to button-down candidate is cussing with more and more abandon: The cussing words are all there, but the music of cussing is almost entirely missing. Unless I am entirely wrong, pretty soon the old cross-your-legs prurience that straightens America's imagined backbone should be back in vogue.

Oh, heck!

pity the poor [male and horny] tarantula

Gaggles of tarantulas are emerging from their burrows across the western US on a quest to mate, hunting for love in prairies, foothills and a garage belonging to Kim Kardashian West.
From August to October, the eight-legged crawlers go on a walkabout for a once-in-a-lifetime foray to find a partner. The phenomenon is now occurring on a unusually large scale from northern California to Colorado and Texas, shining a light on the arachnids’ remarkable mating behavior, which can involve dancing and cannibalism.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

kissing Trump's mideast 'peace deal' goodbye

Smoke and mirrors -- Mideast department:
Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s special envoy for Middle East peace, tasked with working on the “ultimate deal” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is to leave the post, it has been announced.
Greenblatt may stay in the role until the publication of the long-delayed plan, which is now due to come out some time after Israeli elections on 17 September. However, if those elections bring about the fall of Donald Trump’s close ally, Benjamin“Greenblatt’s leaving may have to do with the dim prospects of the so-called peace plan,” said Khaled Elgindy, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, and author of a book on US policy towards the Palestinians, Blind Spot. “What I do know is that it won’t make any difference to what is not really a plan – let’s call it a vision – because there is no chance of it going anywhere.” Netanyahu, the plan could be shelved indefinitely.
All of this might be funny if it were just some frat house getting organized on campus....look at the background credentials of those negotiating peace ... my grandmother's goat was Jewish and that surely qualifies me as a shaper of future peace in the Mideast.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

nothing beats a good gizzard

Chickens, it may be observed, do not go to dentists. This is largely true because chickens have no teeth. Instead, like other fowl of the realm, chickens have gizzards -- a sack laced with small pebbles that do their mastication for them.

From this, were anyone a member of the Trump White House staff, it might rightly be inferred that the scientific community should be bending every effort to create a gizzard fit for human beings. Dentists of every stripe might be incommoded, but dentists generally have enough money already and the loss is to a minor minority of the general population in the United States.

This all may sound wacky and whimsical, but it strikes me as finding a good foundation for yet another diversionary tactic in an administration that specializes in sidestepping serious issues like climate change, gun control, racism and other policies in need or redemption.

Anyway -- be prepared! The day of the human gizzard is right around the corner and you read it here first. Nothing beats a good gizzard.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

vote for Trump

Open a Twitter account?
Moral cowardice is an unattractive presidential characteristic. Make America great ... for a change. Vote for Trump in 2020. Moral cowardice is his calling card.
Not sure what I'm getting at here. I guess that's the beauty of a blog -- you get to fly off the handle and hide behind the cowardice of a blog.