Monday, October 30, 2006

Ashleigh Brilliant Is. . .Brilliant

I became aware of Ashleigh Brilliant in about 1971, when several quotes from him appeared in Art Spiegelman's wonderful Whole Grains--a counterculture quotation book. Thirty-five years later, Ashleigh is keeping on.

"Wonderfully inspirational and insane messages" says Professor J. Katz, Dept. of Psychology, John Abbott College, Canada.

An interview and article by James Moore says that Brilliant has created around 10,000 of these aphorisms/potshots/circuituous riddles . . Brilliant's Pot Shots is syndicated to more than thirty newspapers. He has written many books and published hundreds (thousands?) of his illustrated ready-made quotations, as well as illustrated many other folks' books.

Over the years, Brilliant developed a definition of "Pot-Shots:" they cannot rhyme, and must fall within his self-imposed limit of seventeen words (the same as a haiku). Brilliant told Independent Press-Telegram critic Candy Cooper that he avoids local cultural references because "Pot-Shots have always been a deliberate attempt to reach out to the world."

The Wikipedia has a good collection of Brilliantisms.

Not only don't I know what tomorrow will bring, I'm still not entirely certain what yesterday brought.

I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.

I hope I can settle my internal conflicts without bloodshed.

Why does life keep teaching me lessons I have no desire to learn?

I try to take life as it comes, and just hope it keeps coming.

The best thing about being too late is that there's no more need to hurry.

The most exciting place to discover talent is in yourself.

The more sure you are, the more wrong you can be.

Watch out! It's quite possible that some of my best mistakes haven't yet been made.

I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.

One good thing about my computer: it never asks why.

It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

The task I've been given seems absurd: To wait here on earth until I no longer exist.

Should I abide by the rules until they're changed, or help speed the change by breaking them?

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.

Living on earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun.

Some books make me want to go adventuring, others feel that they have saved me the trouble.


Not even a great leader can get very far without great people to lead.

Some books makes me want to go adventuring, others feel that they have saved me the trouble.

Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to.

The really great people are the ones who know how to make the little people feel great.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit the target.

Try to relax and enjoy the crisis.

Words are a wonderful form of communication, but they will never replace kisses and punches.

My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.

Everything takes longer than you expect - even when you expect it to take longer than you expect.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Eat Your Own Dogfood (reheated)

Actor Lorne Greene used to flack the dogfood Alpo on TV, saying "it's so good I feed it to my own dogs." It gained currency during the dot-com craze, and the phrase is still used most commonly in technology companies. I believe it is one of the central tenets of quality assurance (as opposed to QA's subdiscipline, testing).

"Eating your own dog food" means that you use the software you create, or play the games you make. In other businesses, you might actually eat the food you serve, watch the TV shows you make, or use the product you manufacture. This can be taken to extremes, of course, as in the Not Invented Here syndrome, where you not only eat your own dogfood, but you also won't touch anyone else's [1].

Ben Hamper, writing about life as a shoprat at General Motors in his book Rivethead, tells how anyone foolish enough to drive a foreign car into the employee parking lot would find their car keyed, tagged with spray paint, mirrors ripped off, and possibly rammed by a one-ton pickup. That is an extreme punishment for not eating your own dogfood.

Why should you eat your own dogfood? You actually get to know the product you are making. By knowing it, you may get some ideas about how to increase its goodness. In the case of games and software, problems, bugs and deficencies become apparent often only after extended use by a variety of people. Eating your own dogfood shows you believe in your own product. If you work at a brewery, a game company, or bakery, it probably works pretty well for you, if you manufacture cod liver oil, syrup of ipecac, chastity belts, or experimental aircraft. . .not so much.

[1] "Not Invented Here," describes a company that will use nothing developed by "outsiders." In many cases companies don't know a solution already exists. But even more often, the organization believes they can produce a superior product. Apple Computer, from System 1 through OS9 did not include many U.I. innovations (from, say, Windows) because they were not accounted for in Apple's human interface guidelines (a great document, by the way).

Apple rejected any change they did not invent...which, of course, ignores the fact that Apple cribbed most of this stuff from innovations at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in the first place. In the open source world, at any time, there are several groups working on different projects that all do the same thing.

Large corporations like Microsoft reject all use of open source software...because they feel the source sharing requirements are too onerous. Therefore they must come up with all these tools in house, no matter how much it costs and no matter how poorly the tool emulates what is already available for free.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Deja Vu: nostalgia for today

"Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to."

- Ashleigh Brilliant


Friday, October 27, 2006

It seems like "Death Of A President" has been a tempest in a teapot

. . .click the poster to enlarge. . .

I thought this film would erupt into some sort of overblown controversy. But, hey, it's just a movie after all, and now that the Republicans have slipped into their "Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" mode, well, I guess we all have bigger fish to fry--on both sides of the aisle!


Painting: self portrait number 23

click to enlarge

Lyrics: Joni Mitchell's Amelia

Here are the lyrics to my current favorite Joni tune. . .from Hejira, which includes other amazing songs like Coyote, and Furry Sings The Blues. This vaguely sad and wistful tune addresses Amelia Earhart, drawing images and emotions from altitude and flight.

by Joni Mitchell

I was driving across the burning desert
When I spotted six jet planes
Leaving six white vapor trails across the bleak terrain
It was the hexagram of the heavens
It was the strings of my guitar
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture-post-card-charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

People will tell you where theyve gone
Theyll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Others just come to harm
Oh amelia, it was just a false alarm

I wish that he was here tonight
Its so hard to obey
His sad request of me to kindly stay away
So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell amelia, it was just a false alarm

A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly
Like icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

Maybe Ive never really loved
I guess that is the truth
Ive spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

I pulled into the cactus tree motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams, amelia, dreams and false alarms

Thursday, October 26, 2006

GM Pat Williams Could Be Talking About The G.O.P.'s November Prospects

Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, talks, in 1992, about his team's 7-27 record:

"We can't win at home. We can't win on the road. As general manager, I just can't figure out where else to play."

12 Days To Election Day: Vote Democrat & Throw The Bums Out!

click to enlarge

Wednesday, October 25, 2006



Check out the Scar Stuff Blog

Jason, of the Scar Stuff Blog has a fantastic blog, where he largely seems to rip and scan strange vinyl Long Players from the days of yore. Great listening and reading! Thank you Jason!

A recent sound file is a "Two Headed Monster Devouring Raw Flesh." This blog is really cranking now, in the run-up to Halloween, and is well worth a look and a listen. . .

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sign: Big Dick's Halfway Inn


G.O.P. Candidate John Spencer leaks "butt-ugly" before photos of Senator Clinton

Hillary Rodham - "Before" and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton - "After"

John Spencer, former Yonkers Mayor and Senator Hillary Clinton's Republican opponent for a U.S. Senate seat, is embroiled in controversy after he claimed on Monday that Hillary Clinton was ugly, and that she "underwent millions of dollars of "work" and "looks good now."

"You ever see a picture of her back then?," Spencer said, "Whew. I don't know why Bill married her."

Republican Candidate John Spencer

Spencer denied making these statements to New York Daily News reporter Ben Smith: "I would never call Hillary Clinton ugly. That's outrageous. I didn't do it." Despite Spencer's denial, an anonymous Spencer staffer later leaked "before and after" photographs of the Senator. The staffer was unable to provide a provenance for the purported before photograph.

Smith told the Associated Press that Spencer made the comments as Spencer, his wife and Smith sat together on an airline flight. Candidate Spencer is trailing far behind the Senator in every recent poll.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Shades Of The Enumclaw Beastiality Case-- A Spanaway, Wash. Man Is Accused Of Having Sex With A Pit Bull

A local (to Seattle) man has been busted for having sex with the family pit bull. Unfortunately for Michael Patrick McPhail, of Spanaway, Wash., this state recently made beastiality illegal under a new animal cruelty law. It's not only illegal, but a felony. You may recall the earlier series of articles in All This Is That on the now notorious Enunclaw horse sex case:

Further ruminations on Enumclaw
Horsin' around: update on Enumclaw
Another shocking revelation
Beastiality in south King County
The final horse/beastiality update
Enumclaw Story To Become A Movie

Michael Patrick McPhail pleaded not guilty Thursday to one count of first-degree animal cruelty in Pierce County Superior Court. The Prosecutor, Karen Watson said that McPhail was the first person in Pierce County to be charged with the new bestiality offense. McPhail posted $20,000 bail on Friday and Judge Katherine Stolz has set a trial date for Dec. 11.

McPhail's wife told police she found her husband on their back porch Wednesday night performing intercourse with their 4-year-old female pit bull terrier, a Pierce County sheriff's office report said. The dog was squealing and crying, according to the official complaint. The wife took photos with her cell phone and called the sheriff.

You have to feel for Mrs. McPhail. . .I mean it's one thing if your hubby is playing hide the salami with a co-worker. A pit bull? That takes it to a new level, doesn't it?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Music in Austin, Texas this week

On our visit to Austin, Keelin and I met some great folks, ate good food, and, of course, heard some great music.

The first night, we ate barbecue at Ruby's near the university, and watched a fantastic thunder and rainstorm from the covered patio. As we we walked toward our hotel, looking for a cab, we stumbled onto a nice dive and one of the oldest music bars in Austin---the Hole In The Wall on Guadalupe. We were lucky enough to catch part of Roger Wallace's set. He played solo--just him, his guitar and cowboy hat. The songs were all impressive, and I was especially moved by one that detailed the last 1/2 hour of a convict's life before they sprung the trap door. It details the horror of execution in a rollicking, and sometimes funny tune that propels you toward the climax of what we sometimes call a necktie party.

Billy Block, on Western Beat Radio in Nashville said: "Roger Wallace stands hat and shoulders above the throng of ‘would-be’ Texas country stars emerging from the Lone Star State."

His web site (link above) includes a series of very interesting rants on music, politics, and social issues...

On Thursday, we were able to score tickets just before Dwight Yoakam's show at the Stubb's BBQ amphitheatre. Amphitheatre may be a bit grand sounding. It is a raked dirt lot with a big covered stage and about ten bars and barbecue stands. The theatre holds about 1,500 people (standing, ala Seattle's showbox, etc.). Dwight was riveting and played over two hours--new stuff, old stuff, tributes to Merle and Buck and the Bakersfield sound. He was often funny and his voice was in fine fettle. The band included some facile multi-instrumentalists--the piano player doubled on harmony, organ, percussion, accordian and banjo. The guitar player doubled on mandolin. The bass player switched between an electric and string bass. The audience was a fascinating mix of honky tonkers, college students, tourists like us, music fans, and traditional C & W folk in full regalia. The one thing most had in common was an abiding and deep thirst for Lone Star Beer and Shiner's Bock.

I'd always liked Yoakam's voice and music (and weird character actor parts in movies). I hadn't realized how good the music is--a melange of the Bakersfield sound with the best of honky tonk, bluegrass, roots music, and even a whiff of rockabilly. He covered a few Buck Owens tunes, a Bonnie Owens tune (who died recently), Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and a Presley tune or two.

On Friday, we went out with Mark Yeend to Guero's for some of their fantastic margaritas (and Mexican food in their restaurant) and to hear the Sisters Morales play in the great outdoor venue I always like to hit when I am in Austin. I've never seen a bad show there, or had a bad margarita.

The Sisters were fine players and singers, and their band rocked. One of the sisters looked like she is about to have a baby tomorrow. David Spencer is one of the tastiest guitarists I have ever heard live. Other people agree: "David Spencer is one of Texas' finest guitar players." He scores high in polls of top electric guitar players. And we just stumbled onto them. Spencer also plays pedal steel guitar, a moving and fluid slide guitar, and he some sweet mariachi leads on acoustic.

If you ever have the chance, go to this wonderful town ("The live music capitol of the world"), where you'll encounter good music, drink, and food, but especially the Texas friendliness and hospitality you always hear about. That friendliness permeates everything you do and everyone you meet.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

More of the same of ca-ca from Karl Rove and The White House

Republicans have threatened to crank up their act against Democrats in the final two weeks of the fall campaign, and the somewhat resurrected head storm trooper, Karl Rove gave a little preview on Friday of what they have in mind.

Stumping for the struggling Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), Karl Rove ripped into Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and took a potshot at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and asserted that Democratic policies would leave the country weaker.

"You can't say I want to win the war but not be willing to fight the war," said Rove, Bush's head political honcho. If the Democrats win, he said "our nation will be weaker and the enemies of our nation will be stronger. " In essence Rove said "stay the course." How's that working for you Karl?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sting has rocked his last

Take it with however many grains of salt you wish, but Sting recently blasted all contemporary rock music as so stagnant that he prefers to sing 16th century English ballads.

The former teacher who shot to fame as lead singer, bassist and songwriter in the 1970s and 80s for The Police told German newspaper Die Zeit that he prefers singing songs of Elizabethan lutenist and composer John Dowland to the rock music of today. Please. I don't see how someone who played, wrote, and sang his last decent song in 1980 is in a position to hurl brickats. I have to guess that no one in the modern rock scene is either to choked up, or too surprised to know Sting now prefers the music of Shakespeare's contemporaries.

Maybe the "adult contemporary" crowd is buying this demented gibberish, but I doubt it. I think all that tantric sex has somehow caused a dangerous blowback into his cerebral cortex.

Jack, sore from last week's hip dislocation, but on the mend, in Austin, Texas,
Where rock and roll is very alive & well

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Richard Manuel

Richard Manuel April 3, 1943 - March 4, 1986

"Richard Manuel was a whole show unto himself. He was hot. He was about the best singer I'd ever heard; most people said he reminded them of Ray Charles. He'd do those ballads, and the ladies would swoon. To me that became the highlight of our show."
--Levon Helm

"He brought a lot of powers and strengths to the group. He brought in gospel music from his church upbringing. Plus, he loved to play and just come up with new things. It was like having a force of nature in the band."
--Rick Danko

"Richard not only had the voice, he had this great rhythmic feel..."
--Garth Hudson

"Richard was a sweet, sweet guy... Always pushed the envelope beyond where it would go. Drove one hundred fifty miles an hour in his driveway; faster on the road."
--John Simon

"I was madly in love with Richard... At the time, [1975] we had the same troubles. I felt insecure and he was clearly insecure, and yet he was so incredibly gifted....For me he [Richard] was the true light of the Band. The other guys were fantastic talents, of course, but there was something of the holy madman about Richard. He was raw. When he sang in that high falsetto the hair on my neck would stand on end. Not many people can do that."
--Eric Clapton

"Richard Manuel's is the first voice you hear on the first Band album Music from Big Pink. After a Robbie Robertson guitar intro that sounds as if it's being fed through Garth Hudson's Lowrey organ at its most distorted, his aching baritone launches into the first reproachful line of `Tears of Rage`. As it arches over `arms`, you can't help thinking of Ray Charles, the singer who more than any other shaped this unlikely white soul voice from Stratford, Ontario. And by the end of the first chorus you realize why, in an almost unspoken way, Manuel's fellow Band vocalists Levon Helm and Rick Danko always looked upon him as the group's `lead` singer."
--Barney Hoskyns

"Well, let's see: I started [in music] at nine and quit. Then got back to it when I was twelve. Then I became a party star. In fact, I became a party!"
--Richard Manuel

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lyrics to The Band's "It Makes No Difference"

Here are the lyrics to one of The Band's later, greater tunes. Rick Danko (R.I.P.) with his fragile and moving tenor sang the song. Song by Robbie Robertson. (By J.R.Robertson, from Northern Lights - Southern Cross © 1975, 1976 Medicine Hat Music)

It Makes No Difference
by Robbie Robertson

It makes no diff'rence where I turn
I can't get over you and the flame still burns
It makes no diff'rence, night or day
The shadow never seems to fade away

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Now there's no love
As true as the love
That dies untold
But the clouds never hung so low before

It makes no diff'rence how far I go
Like a scar the hurt will always show
It makes no diff'rence who I meet
They're just a face in the crowd
On a dead-end street
And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

These old love letters
Well, I just can't keep
'Cause like the gambler says
Read 'em and weep
And the dawn don't rescue me no more

Without your love I'm nothing at all
Like an empty hall it's a lonely fall
Since you've gone it's a losing battle
Stampeding cattle
They rattle the walls

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Well, I love you so much
It's all I can do
Just to keep myself from telling you
That I never felt so alone before

Alien Lore No. 89: Dr. Carl Jung on UFOs

I recently found some of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung's thoughts and observations on the UFO "phenomenon." If you want to know more about Jung, read his wikipedia entry that details his break with Freud, and his fascinating explorations into the collective unconscious. He may have been a wack in some respects, but he has been a huge influence on psychological thought in the latter half of the 20th century. His work was an enormous influence on Joseph Campbell.

This article first appeared in "I. Dr. Carl Jung Himself on Unidentified Flying Objects" in the Flying Saucer Review, Volume 1, No. 2, (May/June 1955)]

In the course of years, I have gathered together a considerable
mass of observations, included in which are reports by two
eyewitnesses known to me personally (I have never seen
anything!). I have also read on the question. However, I can
only say for certain: these things are not a mere rumour:
something has been seen.

A purely psychological explanation is ruled out by the fact that
a large number of observations indicate a natural phenomenon,
even a physical one (explainable in part as reflections or
temperature inversions).

The American Air Force (despite its contradictory statements),
as well as the Canadian, consider the observations to be real
and have set up special Bureaux to compile reports. However,
the "disks" (that is, the objects themselves) do not behave in
accordance with physical laws, but as though without weight, and
they show signs of intelligent guidance, by quasi human pilots,
for their accelerations are such that no normal human could

What astonishes me most is that the American Air Force, despite
all the information in its possession and its so-called fear of
creating panic, seems to work systematically to do that very
thing (witness the Orson Welles radio play at New Jersey) since
it has never yet published an authentic and certain account of
the facts, only occasionally allowing information to be dragged
out of it by journalists.

This being so, it is impossible for the uninitiated to form an
adequate picture of what is happening. Despite my own eight
years' compilation of all that has come to hand, I must admit
that I am no more advanced than at the beginning: I still do
not know what these Flying Saucers are. Observations read so
strangely that one might be tempted - if one wished to deny the
reality of the facts reported - to compare them to
parapsychological phenomena.

Because of the general uncertainty as to foundations, it would
be useless to speculate. We must await what the future brings.
So-called "scientific" explanations, such as the theory of
reflections by Dr. Menzel, are not possible without abstracting,
'for convenience' sake, any reports which fail to fit in.

If these "bodies" are of extra-terrestrial origin, as is
affirmed, perhaps planetary (from Mars to Venus) one must not
forget observations which speak of "Saucers" springing from
earth or sea. One must also take into consideration numerous
reports of thunderbolts, or of rare, stationary fireballs (not
to be confused with Saint Elmo's fire).

In such isolated cases thunderbolts can attain to considerable
dimensions, moving slowly from one cloud to another in the form
of a sphere of lightning-like brilliance, and of the apparent
thickness of a half-moon, or again making a passage for
themselves through a forest about 13 feet wide and 220 yards
long, splitting all the trees which lie in their path. They are
silent as the Saucers, or may disappear in a clap of thunder.

Perhaps these round thunderbolts, being isolated charges of
electricity (so-called necklace of pearl [;>))] lightning) are
the origin of those formations of Saucers, photographed several

Often electrical phenomena have been reported in conjunction
with Saucer sightings. If, despite this not yet explained
possibility, the extra-terrestrial origin of the phenomena
should be confirmed, this would prove the existence of an
intelligent interplanetary relationship.

What such a fact might mean for humanity cannot be predicted.
But it would put us, without doubt, in the extremely precarious
position of primitive communities today in conflict with the
superior culture of the whites: the rudder would be removed from
our grasp, and we should lose our pleasant dreams.

Naturally, it would be chiefly our science and our technology
which would have to be consigned to the dust-heap. What such a
catastrophe would mean on the moral plane we can in some sort
judge by the ruin of primitive cultures of which we are
witnesses. That the construction of these machines prove a
scientific technology, and one immensely superior to ours,
admits of no two opinions. Just as the Pax Britannica put an
end to the disputes between the tribes of Africa, so our world
could unroll its Iron Curtain and use it as scrap iron, with all
the millions of tons of guns, warships and munitions. This
would not be very serious. But we would have been "discovered"
and colonised - sufficient reason for universal panic!

If we wish to avoid such a catastrophe, the authorities in
possession of important information should not hesitate to
enlighten the public as soon and as completely as possible and
should, above all, stop these ridiculous antics of mysteries and
vague allusions.

So, after all, there is nothing out-of-the-way in the statements
of ancient documents that all sorts of signs and miracles appear
in the skies, or that people look too the skies for a marvellous
intervention coming to the aid of human incapacity.

Our present day observations of Saucers coincide with the
many reports going back into antiquity, though not in such
astonishing frequency as in these times. But the possibility
of the destruction of a whole continent, which today is in the
hands of politicians, has never existed previously. -C.G.J.

Squirrel poem

The brindled squirrel stands on his hind legs
Sniffs the sunflowers along the fence
And bats a sunflower stalk
To test its strength
It wobbles back and forth
He lunges at the flower
But scrubs the mission and backs off
Ponders the technical objective
And makes a leap of faith
Like Jim Wickwire on K2
Fording a crevasse
With his own leap of faith
He grasps the thick stalk
Swaying and starting to lean
Under the squirrel's weight
Makes a quick swat
At the seed-laden flower
And his claw catches it
He can give up leap back
And retreat momentarily
To safety on the cedar planks
And leave the seed jackpot behind
Or somehow maneuver the flower down
He sits still for a moment
And begins to gnaw at the stalk
When he nearly saws through
He has a new problem
Holding the flower in one paw
And clutching the stalk for dear life
With the other
While my cat stands underneath
Watching the sunflower sway
He bites through the stalk
The sunflower drops to the ground
And startles the cat
Who shoots off into the yard
The squirrel scrambles down
Grabs the sunflower
And makes it to the garage roof
Where he digs out the seeds
And caches them in the gutter
He repeats this with three flowers
Shuttling up and down the roof
The cat becomes bored
And walks away.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Alien Lore No. 88 - Are Greys The Devil's Minions?

Flying Saucers from Hell? Are UFOs really just barges of The Great Deceiver, sent to enslave and/or infect earth with evil?

Sheffield University folklorist David Clarke has written a long and wonderful article on The ForteanTimes website on this bizarre subset of alien lore, in an already bizarre field of lore. You'll need to register to read the entire article.

There is a large school of theory and growing body of literature suggesting that UFOs and Aliens are indeed agents of Satan. On the other hand Reverend Billy Graham wondered whether or not "UFO occupants may be angels sent by God to watch over us. " You may recall that President Ronald Reagan also speculated numerous times in public over the possible motives of alien visitors. According to David Clarke, "The best-known exponent of this idea is the Presbyterian minister Rev Barry Downing, author of Flying Saucers and the Bible. Downing appears to be open minded about aliens as part of God’s creation and to look to the scriptures for evidence of early ET contacts."

Then, there are members of the Christian Orthodox Church who find it impossible to accept that there is any goodness in the elusive and contradictory nature of UFO behaviour. The most extreme expression of this view is that there can be no ETs because life on other planets is not mentioned in the Bible. It’s a point of view that leads its proponents to a further conclusion: if there are no aliens in the Bible and the UFO occupants aren’t angels, then UFOs can only be demonic in origin.

John Weldon & Zola Levitt’s UFOs: What on Earth is Happening? and Dr Clifford Wilson’s UFOs & Their Mission Impossible, are very vocal Christian fundamentalists state without equivocation that UFOs are manifestations of demonic activity, and the increasing number of UFOs in our skies is the result of demons gathering for the coming of the Antichrist.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Poem: Jericho & How Joshua Caused The Walls To Come Tumbling Down

click image to enlarge

Jericho was shut up tighter than a submarine.
It made Helms Deep look as porous as a sponge.
Joshua stared at the walls, trying to find the route in,
When a man walked up: A buffed-up, bodacious cat
With whirling gaslighted ninja eyes, more like a shade
Than a man. Joshua called him out:
"Hey you! Spook! Are you for us, or against us?"
The spook spun around toward Joshua,
Rattled his gleaming sword
And grew ten feet tall and five feet wide.
"I am the General of all Generals."
Joshua fell to the ground because the spook
Was The Lamplighter himself.
"Take the shoes, from your feet," God said,
"This is holy ground. And you’re my boy today.
I have a project for you."

Joshua told The Priests "Follow the ark,
With seven priests with seven trumpets.”
He told the peasants, "All right. Now, beat feet!”
Seven priests blowing seven trumpets led the parade
Around and around and around Jericho
Like Sambo marched the tigers around the tree
Or the way earth spins in the dark around the sun.
For six days, they marched in silence.
On the seventh day they began marching at dawn
Behind the seven priests and seven trumpets
And they marched around the city seven times.
After the seventh orbit, the priests blew a cadenza
And Joshua said to the people, "Shout!
When the trumpets sang, they roared,
Louder with each passing minute,
And the walls came tumbling down.
They destroyed everything with a heartbeat:
Every man, woman, animal and bug,
Young, old, red, yellow, black and white,
Fell on the sword.
Joshua was the Lord’s boy
And became famous throughout the country.
He put the hairy eyeball on anyone
Who dared rebuild the wicked city.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Poem: The Orgy In The Pantry (starring Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, Pilsbury Dough Boy, Aunt Jemima, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee and more).

Soft pulses murmur in the distance:
Muffled voices murmur counterpoint music,
Sing-song transactions hum
Through wood and plaster, doors and walls.
The push and pull of iambic conversation,
And the percussive boom of laughter
Skein a polyrhythmic framework
On a symphony of voices.
A rustling sound upstairs
Wakes me. I get out of bed
And edge up the stairs.
The sounds pull into focus
And the parts emerge.
Heavy breathing, moaning,
A rhythmic thumping, groans and giggles.

I shuffle to the pantry
And ease the door open,
Walking between nylons, belts, a bra,
T-shirts, striped trousers, a housedress,
Skirts, vests, shoes and socks,
Camisoles. panties, and sweaters,
A toque, monocle, and top hat.

I step in and nearly trip on
Mr. Peanut, lying on his back
With a Grand Coulee grin on his mug
And Sara Lee in fishnet stockings on top,
Rubbing peanut butter
On her breasts and nether parts.
Snap, Crackle and Pop are naked
On the floor, daisy chained
In various conjugations
With the Campbell Soup Twins.

Aunt Jemima and Chef Boy-Ar-Dee
Are in the corner, half undressed,
Staring into each others eyes
And sharing a bottle of wine.
Duncan Hines is against the wall
Watching. . .getting solo kicks ,
Digging the scene at the voyeur remove
Where watching trumps participation.
Uncle Ben and Speedy Alka Seltzer
Sip mint juleps, watching the Doublemint Twins'
Messopotamian strip-tease.

Mr. Clean and Tony The Tiger are oiled up,
Greek style, grappling on the pine floorboards.
Enveloped in a churning cloud of flour,
Betty Crocker's housedress is hiked up around her hips,
Arms on the Pilsbury Doughboy's shoulders.
The Jolly Green Giant and Mrs. Butterworth
Waltz around the pantry
And Mrs. B's feet never touch the floor.
Captain Crunch, Colonel Sanders,
Bazooka Joe and The Frito Bandido
Sit in a circle, passing a bong
And laughing at the show.

I don't know if I'm dreaming or awake,
If I should go to sleep or wake up,
Quit dreaming I'm awake
Or quit imagining I'm asleep.
I don't know whether to
Spectate, participate, or abrogate.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Poem: 3 A.M.

The house is still as a painted boat
On a painted sea,

Quiet as the pond
In Monet's Water Lillies,

And as dark
As Mephistopheles' rectum.

Displaced hip, part 2: The Phil Trumbo photos

click to enlarge

Phil Trumbo's get-well email commemorated my hip dis- and re-placement with a number of photos.

click to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Painting: the topographic river

click the painting to enlarge

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dislocated Hip!

I dislocated my (prosthetic) left hip [1] in the wee hours last night. . .by far the most painful thing I've ever experienced. . .by orders of magnitude. My stainless steel hip bone popped right out of the socket. My leg no longer worked, and I could do nothing but slide to the floor, where I remained for about the next hour, trying to find the least painful position (a position that didn't exist), and hoping I could somehow pop the hip back in. My leg was almost turned backwards.

Moving even 1/4" was excruciating. One position that hurt the least, but it started hurting and I had to find another. And every move was complete and total agony. Breathing could hurt. Muscle twitches felt like fire. And the muscles were twitching. I got a Charlie horse and couldn't stop it. It hurt too much to straighten my leg out. I woke Keelin up and she and Colum called 911 (!). The fire department and an ambulance arrived and after fifteen minutes of butt-scratching, carted me out of the basement on a papoose, up the steep back stairs and into the meat-wagon for the drive down the street to Ballard Hospital. They started me on Dilaudid (and gave me a good plungerful in the I.V. whenever I asked).

Since I'd drunk a glass of orange juice at 12:00, they had to wait eight hours to perform the surgery. Not surgery, really, but sticking the hip back in the socket. The Doctor said it was more like carpentry than surgery ("we use the same tools...chisels, saws, screws, cement, hammers"). They had to knock me out to perform the hip "reduction" as it's called. Dr. Wexler was a very personable guy. I tried to talk him into just banging the hip in without anesthetic (Lethal Weapon style). We wouldn't have to wait for my stomach to empty. Alas, he seemed almost game, but didn't want to do it. He'd done a shoulder w/o anesthesia, but he didn't know if he could pull off a hip. So, we waited on three babies about to emerge.

They put me under and wrestled my hip back to its rightful home. I woke up three minutes after they knocked me out, and my hip was back in place. I'm still hurting, but they gave me plenty of Vicoden, which helps a little. I am wearing a "knee immobilizer" to prevent my hip from twisting, andto protect me from myself.

One minute after they finished with the hip, I woke up. It was a shimmering moment of joy. . .in these three minutes I was asleep they had changed my life! I went under at 9:30--I was facing a big clock--and when I snapped to it was 9:34! How did they do that??!! That is maybe the most amazing part of this story. They can put you under for three minutes, perform their maneuvers, and bring you concscious instantly! Keelin said I made a joke when I woke up. And for a second, I thought maybe they didn't fix it...but I wiggled my was attached and it was no longer on fire. My hip was home and I was sore all over, but I could move my leg under my own volition. The absence of pain was a joy. I feel a lot of other pains at the moment, but in perspective, they are infinitesimal. I am going to be OK, I'm sure. But I am always an optimist about these things. My knee immobilizer prevents me from doing anything too crazy. I'll admit, 'though, I am the last person in the world who would do anything risky right now. The pain is way too fresh. I'm not ready for that again. OK. . .enough. . .how are you feeling?!

[1] From In a posterior dislocation, there is usually a great deal of power brought to bear to a flexed knee and to the hip.

Dislocations of a prosthetic hip can happen without any trauma since the ligaments that support the hip joint are no longer working properly. However, nationwide, only about 1 percent of all hip replacement patients will suffer a dislocation. The dislocation can occur when the leg is put in positions that can manually pop the ball from the hip socket, like crossing your legs at your knees or squatting. Additionally, for preventive reasons, physicians advise against bringing your knees to your chest if you have a prosthesis.

Two common techniques for performing a posterior hip reduction (the most common kind of hip dislocation) are the Allis Maneuver and the Stimson Maneuver. In addition to those two techniques, there are several other options available to an orthopedic surgeon depending on the individual case. Both maneuvers require the use of physical force to push the hip back into place and are performed with the patient sedated. The hip and knee are flexed to a 90-degree angle when a surgeon applies the Allis Maneuver. The Stimson Maneuver has the dislocated leg hanging over the edge of the bed with the hip and knee also flexed at a 90-degree angle.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dr. Hook & The cover of the Rolling Stone

This has to fall in the novelty tune category. . .but it's pretty nice. Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show were essentially one hit wonders, however, they did strike gold with a follow-up hit, "Sylvia's Mother." After their song came out, Rolling Stone--it's hard to imagine all these years later how influential and monolithc Rolling Stone was in the 70's--put them on the cover!

Cover of the Rolling Stone
( Dr Hook & the Medicine Show )

Ha, ha, ha, I don't believe it
Da, da, ah, ooh, don't touch me
Hey, Ray!
Hey, Sugar!
Tell them who we are .....

Well, we're big rock singers
We've got golden fingers
And we're loved everywhere we go (that sounds like us)
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
For ten-thousand dollars a show (right)
We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll get ya when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

(Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover
(Stone)Wanna buy five copies for my mother (yeah)
(Stone)Wanna see my smilin' face
On the cover of the Rolling Stone (that's a very, very, good idea)

I got a freaky ole lady name a cocaine Katy
Who embroideries on my jeans
I got my poor old grey haired daddy
Drivin' my limosine
Now, it's all designed to blow our minds
But our minds won't really be blown
Like the blow that'll get ya when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

(Rolling Stone) Wanna see our pictures on the cover
(Stone) Wanna buy five copies for our mothers (yeah)
(Stone) Wanna see my smilin' face
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

(Hey, I know how, rock and roll!!)

[guitar break]

(Ah, that's beautiful)

We got a lot of little teenage blue-eyed groupies
Who do anything we say
We got a genuine Indian Guru
Who's teaching us a better way
We got all the friends that money can buy
So we never have to be alone
And we keep getting richer but we can't get our picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

(Rolling Stone) Wanna see my picture on the cover
(Stone) Wanna buy five copies for my mother (I want one!)
(Stone) Wanna see my smilin' face
On the cover of the Rolling Stone
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

(Man, I don't know why we ain't on the cover, Baby)
(We're beautiful people)

(I ain't kiddin', why, we would make a beautiful cover
(Fresh shot, right up front, man)
(I can see it now, we'll be up on the front)
(Smilin', man ...... ahh, beautiful!)


The story behind the mad leaping aquatic cat in the raft

This is a photo that has been circulating on the 'net in the last few months. I've received it a few times.

Who brought the cat, and why is she jumping out of the boat? As it turns out, she wasn't. As so often happens, a picture too good to be true, isn't. According to, who have also received the photo, "The picture is a humorous digital merging of a picture of three somewhat frightened-looking kids on a bouncing raft with another image taken from a collection of "airborne cat" photos." Oh well, it was good while it lasted.


Painting: "He got caught in the spotlight"

click the image to enlarge

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lyrics to Peter Rowan's (and Old And In The Way's) Panama Red

Panama Red was performed by Old And In The Way, a bluegrass group of David Grisman on Mandolin, Jerry Garcia (on banjo), Vassar Clements on Fiddle, Peter Rowan, and John Kahn on bass. Old And In The Way helped revitalize and popularize bluegrass. These records are still some of my favorite bluegrass. I remember some of those days when Panama Red would show up in town.

Panama Red
by Peter Rowan

Panama Red, Panama Red
He'll steal your woman, then he'll rob your head
Panama Red, Panama Red
On his white horse, Mescalito
He come breezin' through town
I'll bet your woman's up in bed with
Panama Red

The judge don't know when Red's in town
He keeps well hidden underground
But everybody's acting lazy
Falling out and hangin' 'round

My woman said, "Hey Pedro
you're actin' crazy like a clown"
Nobody feels like working
Panama Red is back in town


Everybody's looking out for him
'Cause they know Red's satisfies
Little girls love to listen to him
Sing and tell sweet lies

But when things get too confusing, honey
You're better off in bed
And I'll be searching all the joints in town for
Panama Red


Old And In The Way Recordings: 1 Oct 1973 Breakdown; 8 Oct 1973 Old And In The Way

New Riders of the Purple Sage Recordings: 1973 The Adventures Of Panama Red; 1975 Live On Stage; 13 Jun 1975 Armadillo World HQ; 1982 Live (1982)