Sunday, December 23, 2012

Things to do

Memos to self:

Think up solutions to gun, violence, unemployment and income inequality problems by first of the year. Then explain again to readers how human rights really aren't.

Resolve to find a way to make Rocket Scientist angry enough to emerge from her current blue funk and begin fighting back again.

Find out why Grit didn't come to America this fall as promised and is instead replacing head on vehicle he should be leaving behind anyway.

Get authoritative second opinion on whether cotton is grown in Australia, since Lee is not above taking advantage of American ignorance on the subject.

Find out if Goatman really is.

Why can't I find out what radio frequency Titanic was transmitting on? Why the big secret?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"An angel told me God made me pregnant."

It's hard to "conceive" of a religion with more rites and laws than Judaism.

Joseph (later to become known as SAINT Joseph d'gullibul) was betrothed to Mary. Back then, the engagement lasted one year, and during that time there was to be absolutely no hanky panky. Whatsoever. Then, after the year was up, they got married and were then allowed to get it on. One assumes.

The thing is, Joseph discovers his fiance is pregnant before that year is up.

The Bible says, "Joseph was troubled."

Hell, yes, you say.

Flummoxed. Maybe even fit to be tied.

One assumes he probably broached the subject to Mary.

As we old radio operators used to say in the military, "What the fuck, over?"

A lesser man than a future saint might have been semi-loath to accept her answer, which was, coincidentally, the title of this post. No sir.

Now, the really odd thing here is that the Bible goes on to say that Joseph was troubled because he was afraid his friends (or the townspeople at large, if he had no friends) would soon take note that his bride-to-be was obviously mightily preggers (or, as the Bible put it, "Heavy with child") and would think HE had done the deed before the year was up.


But such was not the case, Joseph knew. He had walked the betrothal walk; he had kept the faith, he had kept his wick dry. In a manner of speaking.

Well, holy bananas, Joe, I think to myself when I read that passage. Jumping the gun would have been the LEAST of your worries, I would think. All you would have to do is respond to the sniggers with a knowing wink and strut around like a rooster, right? Not so bad.

'Course they would have probably stoned Mary to death. I forgot about THAT law. Life was hard in the year zero.

Anyway, did it not occur to Joseph that there was something WORSE than messing up a one-year celibacy gig? Think hard, Joe.


There. I've said it out loud. Let the cat out of the bag. Slipped the surly bonds of blogging decorum.

So Joseph was troubled, the Bible says. Only for the wrong reason. Or the lesser of two reasons.

But God sent another angel, this time to Joseph. Whew, eh?

I know that would make ME feel better.

Do you remember the movie Starman? Where the alien (Jeff Bridges) who looked like her dead husband, made Karen Allen pregnant, but not the usual way? Just by concentration? Zot. And she was with child. Verily.

Wait wait wait. That's wrong. Now I remember. He actually DID her. I think in a boxcar outside Las Vegas. (I am doing this by memory, and it might have been at the meteor crater outside Winslow, but I think it was Las Vegas.) Only, since he had used her dead husband's DNA to become human in appearance, his seed was actually her husband's seed and so by golly it was all okey dokey. And so she said ok. But the important thing was he didn't just go "ZOT" like what happened to Mary, so Karen was not a virgin with child, you see. Well, she had been married anyway but you get my point.

I ramble. I didn't mean to.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas in New Mexico

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high..."
—Apologies to George and Ira Gershwin, et al, "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess

It's cotton time in southern New Mexico, or was not long ago. These pictures are of some of my inlaw's fields taken over the Thanksgiving weekend a couple three weeks ago -  (not by me - I'm far away from Southern NM right now and snow will be seen here (NW NM) tomorrow, they say.

Snowballs of a different sort.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy poetry of love and real life in 1916

I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.
I wish you never quit your job and came along with me.
I wish we never bought a license and a white dress
For you to get married in the day we ran off to a minister
And told him we would love each other and take care of each other
Always and always long as the sun and the rain lasts anywhere.
Yes, I'm wishing now you lived somewhere away from here
And I was a bum on the bumpers a thousand miles away dead broke.
I wish the kids had never come
And rent and coal and clothes to pay for
And a grocery man calling for cash.
Every day cash for beans and prunes.
I wish to God I never saw you, Mag.
I with to God the kids had never come.

—Carl Sandburg

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Aussie tax dollars at work

Government studies and analyses: well worth the time and money.

(Australia division)

I found the following during my daily surf, and it was so exciting and valuable I could never forgive myself if I didn't share it with that important part of the world who reads my posts.

2002 Nov;33(6):523-31.

An analysis of the forces required to drag sheep over various surfaces.


School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of Ballarat, PO Box 663, Ballarat, Victoria 3353, Australia.


Some occupational health and safety hazards associated with sheep shearing are related to shearing shed design. One aspect is the floor of the catching pen, from which sheep are caught and dragged to the shearing workstation. Floors can be constructed from various materials, and may be level or gently sloping. An experiment was conducted using eight experienced shearers as participants to measure the force exerted by a shearer when dragging a sheep. Results showed that significant changes in mean dragging force occurred with changes in both surface texture and slope. The mean dragging forces for different floor textures and slopes ranged from 359 N (36.6 kg) to 423N (43.2 kg), and were close to the maximum acceptable limits for pulling forces for the most capable of males. The best floor tested was a floor sloped at 1:10 constructed of timber battens oriented parallel to the path of the drag, which resulted in a mean dragging force 63.6N (15%) lower than the worst combination.

So let it be written. So let it be done.

"Up rode the squatter stockman, mounted on his thoroughbred

Down came the troopers ONE TWO THREE!"

Listen to Jimmie Rodger's 1960 version of WM here.

Read two amazing lucid and literate old posts about Aussie definitions in this song:



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Raging at the dying of the light

All my heros are on Social Security now. Holy Mackeral.

I grieved when they turned 60. 62. 65.

Hell, I grieved when they turned 30.

Then Ringo turned 70. So did Bobby Dylan.

Who turned/turns 70 this year? Lots. The calendar says...

Country Joe McDonald
Woodstock. Gimme an "F".

Marty Balin
Jefferson Airplane. Punched out a Hell's Angel at Altamont, on the trailer with the Stones, remember?

Graham Nash
Can't say anything bad about Nash. Nobody can.

Corey Wells
Three Dog night's three lead singers ALL turned 70 this year.

Carole King
I forgive her for marrying Neil Sedaka because she wrote the Tapestry Album.

Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith
Davy Jones will never see 70. And I'm sorry.

Aretha Franklin

Roger McGuinn
'S true. "McGuinn and McGuire, justa catchin' fire, in LA - you know where that's at..." You remember Roger - he's the Byrd who didn't father/donate to Ethridge's child or have a liver transplant.

Paul McCartney
Ok, he was never my hero, but still.

Brian Wilson and Al Jardine both
Jesus Jesus Jesus!

Gary Pucket. Johnny Rivers.

I can live with that.


Petula Clark turned 80 today.

Not a rocker, but still, You know? huh?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Attacking cows

From an old post to a photography forum by a Russian lady, commenting on the original poster's photos of cows in a pasture, including wet noses close up:

"Nice images, but I won't go near those type of cows. The one day I was minding my own business walking through the woods. I stumble upon a farm, from a distance I saw those cows (at first I thought they were bulls (some did have horns). Well they only way out of the farm was to walk right passed these cows. They all stared me down and walked very quickly towards. Good thing there was a fence, otherwise I might not be here today."


Commenting was now disabled on that rather old post, but someone should have enlightened the city girl a bit. Such as:

"The cattle were coming toward you because cows are preoccupied with food and humans are associated with food. Humans might give grain or hay, which is a pleasant change of pace from simply grass all day. What would have happened had you not run away and there had been no fence? Probably nothing if they were cows or steers. They would have probably stopped at a safe distance and waited for you to produce food. And if you didn't? Would they attack you in anger? No, most likely they would have lost interest in you (when they realized you were useless) and simply ambled away. P.S. - The girls might have horns too, depending on the breed, if someone hasn't cut them off. That's not how you tell if it's a bull."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Silent Cal

President Calvin Coolidge didn't have much to say. When he did speak, however, it was usually worth listening to. Think Harry Truman, only with an education and the ability to bite his tongue.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
—Calvin Coolidge


Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.


There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.


Duty is not collective; it is personal.


No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.


Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.


I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm.


They criticize me for harping on the obvious; if all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves.


Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.


The right thing to do never requires any subterfuge, it is always simple and direct.


I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.


It takes a great man to be a good listener.


No man ever listened himself out of a job.


We draw our Presidents from the people. It is a wholesome thing for them to return to the people. I came from them. I wish to be one of them again.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More songs of the American Great Depression

Eric Clapton Unplugged.

LOVE that resonator guitar!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Great Depression Songs

Once I built a railroad, made it run,
Made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad, now it's done.
Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower to the sun,
Brick and rivet and line.
Once I built a tower, now it's done.
Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits - gee, we looked swell!
Full of that Yankeedoodleedum!
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!
Say, don't you remember, you called me Al?
It was Al all the time.
Say, don't you remember? I'm your pal!
Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Opera at the pub tonight. Drinks on the house. Dress up.

The opera "Aida" by Giuseppe Verdi (or "Joe Green" as Victor Borge used to refer to him) debuted in Cairo on Christmas Eve, 1871. The music is some of the best known, especially the "March" from the return of the conquering hero at the Grand Gate of Thebes, usually referred to more simply as the "Grand March from Aida." You can listen to an 8-minute version of this classical music piece at the end of this post. Or not.

Story line:

Aida, an Ethiopian princess, is captured and brought into slavery to Egypt. The young commander of the Egyptian host falls in love with her. Of course, she returns her enslaver's love. Hey, it could happen. Pharaoh's daughter also loves the guy, so prospects are dim for Aida finding joy in her new love. The commander doesn't return Pharaoh's daughter's love. Too bad for him, eh? The king of Ethiopia, Aida's papa, attacks Egypt to free his daughter (very likely) but is defeated on the battlefield by the warrior commander who wants only to become his son-in-law someday. Pharaoh's daughter finds out that Aida and soldierboy are loving it up and Aida is torn between loyalty to her homeland and for her father the king, and for her love for her enslaver and the prospect of probably being tortured to death by the pharaoh's daughter and I don't just mean waterboarding by god. I'll stop now because I sure wouldn't want to spoil the plot for those of you not familiar with this 140 year old opera. Those who sit through the entire 8 minutes will be rewarded with popcorn and free cider at the pub.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


I watched the Vice-Presidential debate tonight, and felt it was a wash. I don't think anyone votes for President because of who his running mate is anyway. This debate, the only one for the VPs wasn't really even necessary.

Technically, I thought Ryan did better than I expected him to, and I thought VP Biden was as much of an arrogant ass as I thought before, maybe more so. But he made some points.

I think the only tangible purpose this debate could have would be to set up the next debate that "matters" next Tuesday, between the Presidential contenders. Biden made a few points that Obama left out in the first debate and Ryan hammered away at the same Republican points.

Many people will say Biden lost this debate because of his constant smirking and condescending attitude. But that doesn't lose debates. If you heard this on the radio instead of watching it on TV, I think Biden was the debating winner. But, since most people saw it on TV, they saw a buffoon being disrespectful to an earnest younger man. Who knows? I don't imagine many minds were changed tonight.

(If you watch an online video of the debate, bear in mind that the real TV audience did not see the moderator or the two men together sitting at the desk; all the TV audience saw was a continuous side by side shot of the men's heads and their facial expressions.)

Saturday, October 6, 2012


A skeleton walks into a bar and orders a drink and a mop.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

AusZealand Forever

 USPS sent my parcel to the wrong country.. !!
i was expecting a EMS parcel and it tracked it last night. it arrived in Australia instead of New Zealand.

My god... does that ever happen to anyone here?

and how long did that take you to resolve it?

i called USPS this morning, they told me to get sender to give them a call.

oh I understand your frustration. Hopefully it's just in transit. Maybe try to call NZ post and ask what's going on... they might be able to tell you if it's just a transit or not...Are you quite sure it is not just in Australia en route to New Zealand?

Right. I'm gonna call New Zealand.
i called USPS.. now i need to get the sender to call in order to re-direct... that is crazy.. how can they send to the wrong country.
I once sent something from US to South Korea and it was routed to South AFRICA. I called USPS and they put a trace and found the package then rerouted it to south korea

Who cares?
i googled the same issue last night. apparently it happens to a lot of ppl.
omg a nightmare! Especially when it's out of your control... Hopefully everything will be OK and you don't have to wait too long for your parcel to arrive at your place... sometimes it's the chasing around that's really annoying...
Wait, did the postal service mess up or did the seller misaddress the package?
Just leave it up to0 the post office
I sell internationally on occasion and the post office needs to type in the address info for priority and express mail. Australia and NZ are close together, so it's possible the representative typed it in wrong? Or through they were the same... As a second grade teacher for years, trust me lots of people don't know better. It also could have been sent to the wrong place altogether. USPS will probably only deal with the seller on claims so as long as he\she puts a tracer and the package is insured & tracked, it will end up where it's supposed to. What a headache!

A and N are close together? And you are a teacher?
I hope it gets dorted out asap..
I have a similar, well, worse experience with EMS. I sent wedding invitations in bulk to my parents in South Korea. Supposed to arrive in three business days. The package was sent to somewhere in Southern Asia (I never even found out where) and finally arrived at my parents' WEEKS later it was supposed to arrive, covered with MOLD and STUNK to high heaven. Apparently the package got wet at some point during the trip. Absolutely GARBAGE, and it was no use at that point anyway since it was a time-sensitive material. It was HELL trying to get a refund from USPS. I had to fill out many documents, make tons of phone calls, and wasted hours and hours at the post office dealing with exceptionally rude and/or lazy workers (there were a few exceptions.) It took me a solid YEAR to get a refund of paltry $75, barely what the invitations were worth.

Sorry about so many all-capital words, but it was such a nightmare that every time I think about it I get pissed off. Personally I would NEVER send anything valuable via EMS, not from the U.S. anyway. I trust DHL and have never had a bad experience with them, but I understand DHL isn't everywhere in the U.S.

OP, I'm really sorry about it and I do hope they straighten this out ASAP. Just my two cents, bug them like crazy until the problem gets solved. You really have to be pro-active in dealing with them. Document EVERYTHING. Was it time-sensitive?

No, it's ok if they take 5 years.
one of my parcel is now in Canada.... It should be sent to China....
You should tell the post office instead of this forum. Just saying.
The only way they can send it to the wrong country is if you didn't put in the right information. Are you certain you put the correct information?

Do you really believe that, Polly?
sent my package (the same package) twice to Australia instead of Austria, and I put the correct information and address. That is so annoying.
My uncle ordered something online one time and instead of it being sent to Virgina, it got sent to Venezuela. I can't remember what ended up happening with that package, but they sent him a new one once they realized what the problem was. Good luck OP, stuff like this really sucks :(

When you remember, be sure and let us know.
recently i had shipped an item to carambatta, australia. i wrote australia in all caps below the address and it was still shipped to canada. usps can be hopeless sometimes. another package is currently taking a century to be shipped to australia via priority mail after being sent on november 14.

Why don't you use some caps here too? Don't cost nothin'.
Well, I'm wrong then. I can admit it. :)
That's a load off.
Oh no, thats absolutely awful!! Who are you buying from?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring"

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

—Kahlil Gibran, in The Prophet

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Flick and Flack

Venus Rising

Adullamite Descending

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mo' Willie

Below: Video for "I'm A Memory"

Lost and Found

I am
I am

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Previous Pursuits

Willie Nelson, high school basketball player.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cajun Delights and Anorexia

Jambalaya the crawfish pieya or Billie gumbo.
I used to think those were the words and
Never cared enough to ever look
Them up.

I looked them up once and
You know what?
It really doesn't matter if you
Say file' instead of Beelay.

As gumbo is gumbo to your
Average K-Jun diner
Two three four.

I'm pretty sure it was Hank Williams
The father, not the oaf
Who sang that song or maybe
It was the Carpenters or maybe bof.

It is easy to get Hank and the sweet
Siblings confused is it not?
N'est pas, I mean, since KayJun
Is the lingo here ceci une.

Do you remember Tom Jones and
How the ladies used to throw panties
At him while he sang? If so
You are old.

I don't think they threw panties at
The Carpenters... did Richard ever
Sing or just Karen? ...a poser that.
No, no knickers lobbed at Karen.

We used to throw FOOD at her though
In hopes of making her gag or
If we were especially lucky even
Make her throw up on stage.

Jambalya indeed. Or, as Albert
Camus might have said "You can't
Create experience. You must
Undergo it." Well.

And didn't Albert suffer the slings and arrows
When he was onstage as they insulted him,
Swore at him in French. But he couldn't have
Been on stage, being a novelist by trade; Odd, that.

And if you don't eat for long enough
You will cease to experience anything
Anymore. Poor, poor Karen - she should have eaten the
Jambalaya instead of singing about it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pact with the Devil?

Who is the skinniest president you can remember in your lifetime? Every time you see him, he is visiting a restaurant and mingling. So why doesn't he get fat? Unfair, to say the least. I am not one to ever admit that exercise does any good, because I know it just doesn't. My theory is he's sold his soul. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Done Too Soon

Jesus Christ, Fanny Brice
Wolfie Mozart and Humphrey Bogart
And Genghis Khan
And on to H. G. Wells

Ho Chi Minh, Gunga Din
Henry Luce and John Wilkes Booth
And Alexanders King and Graham Bell

Ramar Krishna, Mama Whistler
Patrice Lumumba and Russ Colombo
Karl and Chico Marx
Albert Camus,

E. A. Poe, Henri Rousseau
Sholom Aleichem and Caryl Chessman
Alan Freed and Buster Keaton too

And each one there
Has one thing shared
They have sweated beneath the same sun
Looked up in wonder at the same moon
And wept when it was all done
For bein' done too soon
For bein' done too soon
For bein' done

1970 Prophet Music, Inc.
Neil Diamond

Sunday, September 2, 2012

King Louis

Today is Louis Bonaparte Day.

Yesterday a French King of Holland,
Today a Hollande French President.

(Thanks to Rob, and apologies to Gio Ve for the theft.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012