December 25, 2008


I think of myself as a Thinker, then 
I think, "Let me think about that..."

If I have a thought, most of the actual 
thinking that occurs is post: rationalizing,
validating, or otherwise reasoning out a 
case for that thought.  So, it occurs to me

That I'm more of an Arguer than a thinker, 
prone to commit/defend arbitrary notions.

It's pretty absurd.

December 23, 2008

fe·ral - adjective
  1. Existing in a natural state, as animals or plants; not domesticated or cultivated; wild.
  2. Having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication: a pack of feral dogs.

o v e r g r o w

December 18, 2008

cui bono appétit

Been hankering to try cui (roasted guinea pig) for a while now. In mountainous Peru guinea pigs are raised for food in lieu of bulkier livestock (they reproduce quickly and require little space). The indigenous Peruvian cuisine has spread to neighboring countries, and supposedly is even served here in the States.

Imagine suburban America with a cui coop in every backyard... or better yet, guinea pens in which tri-color rodents run free until the day they become dinner. Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG) recently suggested converting backyard pools for agri/aquacultural use; why not cellular edible-rodent farms?

"The Last Supper" by Marcos Zapata, 1753, hangs in the Cathedral of Cuzco (note the cui platter). I think bottom-right dude is Judas, clutching his quid pro quo below the table. He's the only person in the painting looking back at the viewer, a gaze that says: "We know something these guys don't."

December 10, 2008

Children of Men

Recently signed up for Netflix and have been blasting through my queue (is that really how it's spelled?). Netflix is great - opens the door to a long list of good movies I never got around to seeing.

My #1 pick so far:

Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

"The bleakest movie you'll ever want to see twice." Indeed, after viewing I forced my parents to watch the next day. The cinematography is dreary, but when "Bring on the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)" by John Lennon is reprised as the end credits roll... well, it just makes me want to dance.

Also, wow. I just read this article: "Legalize Drunk Driving". Don't let the *gasp* title turn you off, it's an interesting argument. The warning about giving the government "power to make the application of the law arbitrary, capricious, and contingent on the judgment of cops" struck a chord with me.

December 05, 2008


December 5, 2008
75th Anniversary of the
Twenty-first Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States

Amendment 21 repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, ending federal prohibition of alcohol (1920-1933). Teetotaling crusaders were the initiating force behind the 18th Amendment. The Temperance lobby constituted such a substantial influence on policy that the unpopular national ban stood for thirteen years.

Grass roots political efforts coupled with the blatant link between prohibition and a surge in organized crime led to the first and only full reversal of any amendment to our Constitution.

So drink up, and enjoy your freedom (to abstain, use, or abuse) that was won by the people for the people. One may observe, however, that such dynamic democracy exhibited in the repeal of alcohol prohibition did not conflict with any major corporate interests (other than the government enforcement agency). Nor was the institution of prohibition spurred exclusively by demagogues willing to propagandize the public and appeal to dehumanizing fear and prejudice.

Federal prohibition of cannabis-sativa: 71 years and counting...

True green, not industrial greenwash. Easy to grow; requires few chemicals for production and processing; beneficial to soil; absorbs CO2; abundant uses including bio-fuel, food, clothing, paper, construction material, almost infinite applications.

Cui bono? Who benefits from prohibition of this plant?

December 04, 2008

2009 A.D.

Is it real? Is it safe?

I'm afraid to get optimistic about this,
despite all the signs pointing to yes.

I've been hurt before.

November 20, 2008


Keep it simple, stupid.
Great advice;
Hurts my feelings every time.


  1. Free your heart from hatred.
  2. Free your mind from worry.
  3. Live diligently.
  4. Expect less.
  5. Give more.

November 17, 2008


All the times I should have ______ ___,
Are one hundred times I ____ alone.

Practice makes _______.

Forgetiveness, have ___ arrived?
No, the shuffle ____ __ open again.
Rememberemption is a _____.

Wait for ____...

Do ___ really exist at all?

November 14, 2008

good eats

grilled n.y. strip w. fried onions-garlic & feta green bean salad

pizza III: yellow heirloom, broccoli, red pepper, smoked chicken, 'shrooms, goat cheese, h.m. sauce (ciao crust)

chicken parmesan

grilled salmon fillet w. dill sauce & h.g. heirloom slices

chicken/cheese enchiladas (h.m. sauce: garlic, onions, three chili powders, cumen, tomato sauce, etc.) w. cilantro!

pizza V: a slice is nice (chevre, baby 'bellas, garlic/o.o., rotisserie chicken, tomato, f. onions, bacon, love)

November 06, 2008

in·er·tia - noun
  1. Physics. The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.

  2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change: the inertia of an entrenched bureaucracy.

November 05, 2008

Four Key Principles

...for the next president to ignore or actively contradict:

Foreign Policy
The Iraq War must end as quickly as possible with removal of all our soldiers from the region. We must initiate the return of our soldiers from around the world, including Korea, Japan, Europe and the entire Middle East. We must cease the war propaganda, threats of a blockade and plans for attacks on Iran, nor should we re-ignite the cold war with Russia over Georgia. We must be willing to talk to all countries and offer friendship and trade and travel to all who are willing. We must take off the table the threat of a nuclear first strike against all nations.

We must protect the privacy and civil liberties of all persons under US jurisdiction. We must repeal or radically change the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the FISA legislation. We must reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons. We must deny immunity for corporations that spy willingly on the people for the benefit of the government. We must reject the unitary presidency, the illegal use of signing statements and excessive use of executive orders.

The National Debt
We believe that there should be no increase in the national debt. The burden of debt placed on the next generation is unjust and already threatening our economy and the value of our dollar. We must pay our bills as we go along and not unfairly place this burden on a future generation.

The Federal Reserve
We seek a thorough investigation, evaluation and audit of the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationships with the banking, corporate, and other financial institutions. The arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended. There should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies. Corporations should be aggressively prosecuted for their crimes and frauds.

These four key principles were outlined on September 10, 2008 at the National Press Club during a joint press conference held by Ron Paul (R/L), Ralph Nader (I), Cynthia McKinney (G), and Chuck Baldwin (C). See the full synopsis at

Overall theme: American democracy is failing.

The interests of peace, social justice, ecological wisdom, and constitutional organization are not priorities for our morbidly obese government, which has fixed its position and contains massive inertia to perpetuate itself for its own sake. Presidential elections are a charade, a collusion between the duopoly two-party establishment and complicit media.

But there's a whisper, a hushed intangible that persists. All the noise created by the powers-that-be is designed to drown out this resilient idea: we the people have the power. A big lie that gets repeated, one we frequently tell ourselves, is that structures and systems in place are immutable, unchangeable. One says, "That's just the way it is." Another says, "Some things will never change, so why should I?"

Instead, be the change you wish to see in the world.

The game is rigged, but the rules created by the beneficiaries can be rejected. We must become concientious of our surroundings. Seek to educate, don't indoctrinate, your neighbors. Encourage every person to consider issues through an alternate lens - identify propaganda and resist it! Be humble and patient; induce real change by living properly first and worry less about convincing others (actions speak louder).

This is my idea of grass roots. As it applies to American democracy, I believe the top priority is to override the choking effect of the two party system. How did the mantra of lesser-evil become an American virtue? How could the expectations of the society that represented such hope for human civilization sink so low? How can our prospects for doing justice in the future improve?

I really like the idea of the Vote Pact. Under current conditions, disenchanted Republicans and Democrats continue voting for their party out of fear of helping the party they consider the greater-of-two-evils. With the Vote Pact, a disgruntled D can pair with similarly rebellious R and agree to vote for an alternate party candidate. Both are freed to vote for the candidate they deem to be the best, not the least worst. This breaks the cycle that allows the evil-and-eviler two party system to easily propagate.

Promoting alternative voices is the best way to achieve real dialogue, by which ideas of Common Wealth can once again flourish in the United States of America.

P.S. - Barack Obama will be our next leader. For so many millions his presidency represents the path to change. The change they hope for is one handed down by a newly beneficent federal government.

I question: Are the expected changes real ideas, or illusory hype? What is the expectation for change based on? How easily could this dream for the future turn into a continuation and expansion of the current nightmare?

October 27, 2008

be like ben

October 24, 2008

drivin' that train

Put my money in your meter,
so it won't run down.
But you caught me in the squeeze play
on the cheesy side of town.
Throw me a dime, throw me a line -
'cause there's a fat man in the bathtub with the blues.
Fat Man in the Bathtub
Little Feat

Was it Casey Jones or Casey at the bat
Who died out of pride and got famous for that?
Killed by a swerve, laid low by the curve -
Do you ever think they ever thought
they got what they deserved?
To the Dogs or Whoever
Josh Ritter

October 23, 2008

world serious

The Phillies are up a game in the World Series.
It's exciting, but the distraction fades quickly.

Ultimately insignificant, like most things
I dedicate my attention and efforts to...
To avoid raking my mind over the coals,
Imaginary ashes of what never was.

|| ||| |||

My one addiction;
I have become so tired of this junk.
Yet, unable to throw it all away.

Hard to see past the threshold.
Still, it's nice to win game one.

October 21, 2008


The Joker combats the Federal Reserve's reckless monetary policy.

October 16, 2008

eclipse Q + A

Could the Sun need the Moon...
in the way that Moon needs Sun?

If Moon cried out, would Sun run?

There is no D.S.O.T.M., really...
as a matter of fact, it's all dark.

October 15, 2008

po·lem·ic - noun

  1. a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.
  2. a person who argues in opposition to another; controversialist.

October 14, 2008


The Phillies/Dodgers game last Friday was a great experience.

Citizen's Bank Park was a blur of rally towels and RBIs by the fightin' Phils. The sellout crowd particularly enjoyed Bret Myers' d.i.y. approach at the plate as he helped himself with three hits (all on the first pitch) to drive in three runs. Incidentally, the end score was PHI:8-LA:5 after "Lights Out" Lidge applied the final touches to earn his 45th consecutive save. That put Philly up two games to none in this series.

The weather was perfect, and the seats were decent. Drank some beers, waved the rally towel, threw a few high fives. I know Davy had a blast; the thorough shaking I received when the Phils went ahead was a good indicator.

Last night Phils went up 3-1 in the NLCS, making a trip to the Fall Classic very likely.

P.S. - I was a little disappointed (none surprised) by a few "Manny Sucks" chants to greet Manny Ramirez coming to bat. I am generally hesitant about collective recitation, as it tends to appeal to the worst parts of our nature. Needless to say, sports arenas are quintessential for mindless crowd-speak. Groups often succumb to the boorish behavior of a few, even when it makes most of us uncomfortable (as anyone who went to junior-high or has worked at Parcels knows).

Also, the FOX broadcasts of this series have been abusive (and exclusive) in their alternating employment of the "Rocky" tune and "I love L.A." as cut music. The height of cliche, the lowest of denominators.

October 09, 2008

October 07, 2008


[Sauce: garlic, onions, pablano pepper, basil, oregano] heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms, chicken sausage, chevre (soft goat cheese), previously frozen pizza dough (Ciao)

Illuminated Grand Opera house, night of Wilco concert
(photo credit: DVD)

October 06, 2008

Playoff Baseball

Hardly made it to any Phillies games this season (one).
Saw the Phils blow out the Dodgers from the cheap seats.
I'll make up for any missed games on Friday.

Dodgers again, only this time it's October.
SECOND ROUND of the MLB Playoffs.

Come on Burrell!
Two home runs in the NLDS clinching game.
Forget about it.

October 03, 2008

skeleton sanctuary

first unitarian church in philadelphia
moonlighting as a concert venue
for alternative music.

tuesday november 18: margot & the nuclear so and so's

p.s. - bought the ticket, missed the show. oh well oh well.

September 20, 2008

That's a Pizza

September 18, 2008

That's a Tomato

September 08, 2008

Midnight Rider

Too much damn noise! The months before a presidential election are a crowded sports bar at a chain restaurant. Really loud and way too bright: the atmosphere is designed to prohibit thought and conversation. This (surprisingly popular) establishment's sole purpose is to keep patrons returning to their respective sides of the trough, filling up on mass-produced domestic swill.

Hey, that turned into a pretty good analogy.

Isn't all the noise (i.e.- conventions, smear ads, all sorts of punditry, etc.) intended to distract, divert, misinform, confuse or flat-out deceive the electorate?

If heartless global corporate interests have truly wrested control of the American republic from its republicans, is there any hope of electing free-thinking individuals?

The short answer over the short term is, no. Especially not in presidential elections, where the collective will of the people is only defined and dominated by massive concentrations of power. This current reality is far removed from a vision of a free society rooted in and empowered by an educated population.

Bartender: (Shouting over roar of crowd) Whatchu need?

Conscientious Patron: Let me get a Ron Paul.

Guy At Bar: Ron Paul? Isn't that the one with Gold-Standard in it? Weird, man. (He swigs from a bottle of R-Lite or D-Lite. It doesn't matter which, they're the same.)

Bartender: We don't serve that. D-Lites are $4 during the football game.

A look around the bar reveals only sponsorship materials from the Big Domestics. Their hegemony of inferior quality and mass distribution is secure, for now. This bar is thriving on loudness, brightness, and the marketing ability of its suppliers to provide a crowd.

There is peril in unpalatable American Lite beer! It is not the beer that our founding fathers envisioned for us. More grave is the threat embodied by crowded, loud, over-lit sports bars. I say "embodied by" because these are only the brick-and-mortar manifestations of our own willingness to be enslaved by the noise, convinced (somehow) this is where we want to be.

We need a brewer patriot to sound the alarm.

P.S. - The original purpose of this post was to feature a link to an article that describes Ron Paul as a "reincarnation of Paul Revere" (the midnight rider). It started to rhizomate with the pub analogy, then came full circle when a shorter leap back to Mr. Revere presented itself in Samuel Adams (the brewer patriot). I Googled "Samuel Adams and Paul Revere" and came up with the linked article. Not only are they ostensibly connected, but it turns out that microbrew status of Sam Adams beer is a "marketing shell" propagated by its corporate-industrial contractors (Anheuser-Busch). Oh well, at least it tastes better than Bud Lite. I don't drink that much beer anyway.

Paul Revere: American hero, misapropriated beer mascot.

P.P.S. - Hmmm, I looked into the 'contract' brewing thing. Seems that Samuel Adams has been produced at a number of large plants, and the man who helped Jim Koch develop the brewery in 1985 worked for Anheuser-Busch. Today 60% is brewed at the Boston Beer Company's facility in Cincinatti (only a small "R&D"/giftshop site exists in Boston). The recent sale of Anheuser-Busch to Belgian conglomerate InBev does not seem to have affected Sam Adam's sovereignty as an independent brewer, but the "craft beer" propaganda is a bit fishy/phony.

September 04, 2008

tomato tornado

Homegrown heirlooms becoming pasta sauce (olive oil, garlic, onions, zucchini, basil, mint).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Strip steak with mac & cheese, fried onions, heirloom tomatoes.


1-1/2" thick NY Strip Steak
Garlic, Onion, Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil, Butter, Tobasco

-Take steak out of fridge 30 min. before cooking
-Slice garlic into chips, simmer in oil over low heat until crisp
-Season both sides of steak w. S&P and a few dashes of Tobasco
-Remove garlic chips, increase heat to high (until oil smokes)
-Sear 1 min. both sides, transfer steak to broiler-safe pan
-Put two tabs of butter on top, place steak under high broiler
-Broil about 4 minutes on each side, add more butter when flip
-Fry julienned onion over medium heat in the remaining oil

Let steak rest for 5 minutes. Serve on bed of onions, top with garlic chips.

September 03, 2008

Wilco setlist

from show @ wilmington's grand opera house, august 10 (less than one month after the show, following a couple of half-hearted/hapless attempts to blog from my cell phone). concert was good, tweedy et al took the stage on time and played a great set:

Sunken Treasure
Wishful Thinking
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
Blood of the Lamb
You Are My Face
Company in My Back
Hotel Arizona
Handshake Drugs
Pot Kettle Black
Side with the Seeds
Radio Cure
Impossible Germany
Jesus, Etc.
Poor Places
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

[encore one]

Hate it Here
Walken Walk On
I'm the Man Who Loves You

[encore two]

Heavy Metal Drummer
The Late Greats
Casino Queen
Outtasite (Outta Mind)

the grand opera house made an ideal venue; there was some speculation about whether anybody would fire one up inside the venerable establishment (olfactory confirmation at the beginning of the second encore).

fantastic show. hope they come back to delaware.

August 29, 2008

Fwd: real time

August 28, 2008



Sent from my iPod

August 27, 2008

self·less·ish - adjective
  1. characterized by or manifesting the appearance of selflessness while actually being selfish
  2. somewhat selfless

August 22, 2008

on trains and lazy blogging

"The sound of an approaching train awoke him, and he started to his feet, remembering only his resolution, and afraid lest he should be too late. He stood watching the approaching locomotive, his teeth chattering, his lips drawn away from them in a frightened smile; once or twice he glanced nervously sidewise, as though he were being watched. When the right moment came, he jumped. As he fell, the folly of his haste occurred to him with merciless clearness, the vastness of what he had left undone. There flashed through his brain, clearer than ever before, the blue of Adriatic water, the yellow of Algerian sands....and Paul dropped back into the immense design of things."

from "Paul's Case: A Study in Temperament" by Willa Cather, one of my favorite short stories. Are short stories more effective as literature than novels? They are for me - due primarily to a deficit of reading persistence.

This one's a half-hour read, click above if so inclined.

I dig the last phrase: back into the immense design of things.

"What is that, some sort of Eastern thing?" - The Dude

August 01, 2008

No difference between who I am and who I could be.

Realization that you already know this: a
Stealth train, relentlessly crushing my mind.

Abandonment and acceptance: not a destination,
Only a deserted track with no end.

Hope? All I can achieve is to forget.

Power to become more than I can be
Does not come from me.

It comes from you.

July 13, 2008

photos i didn't take

one of food i didn't eat: parisian shellfish
From big steps + l...

pumpkin portraiture
From big steps + l...

everything burns
From big steps + l...

especially eggplant parmesan in the shiny pan [delicious]
From big steps + l...

$25 per methane producing, dry-aged pound
From big steps + l...

From big steps + l...

June 22, 2008

I'm Not There

Tobias = Ginsberg

June 19, 2008

guilty cognition

come on, max, 
say you're sorry.

i'm sorry.

it's only me, it's not my mind.
said max, the single-celled organism.

June 18, 2008

an·thro·po·cen·tric - adjective
  1. Regarding humans as the central element of the universe.
  2. Interpreting reality exclusively in terms of human values and experience.

June 07, 2008


fear explodes
distraction turns to ash
no key unchains self from me
thunderstorms and morning light
a thread stitching all things
whispering, "I miss you"
and it won't stop
I won't let it

May 23, 2008

Cry Love

Arrested Development is like an onion. It's delicious. I like garlic, too. Cheers, AD, you laser beam of crispy goodness piercing the smog and drudgery of our daily existence.

Just heard John Hiatt's "Cry Love" (featured in Episode 4, "Key Decisions") on XPN. Nice.

Avoidance Deportment:

Believe over thinking
Forget her by drinking
Work trumped by wishing
Talk instead of kissing
Laugh to dodge crying
Live instead of dying

May 01, 2008

April 25, 2008

Wilco @ Grand Opera House

I just started listening to Wilco recently. Was first put off by roaring ambient noise crescendoing in some of their songs. Still not sure what that's all about. Digging the sound now. Lyrics are just right - ambiguous enough to project my own experience onto everything, yet avoiding complete nonsense.

Dad waited in line early this morning (5 a.m.) and got tickets for the Grand Opera House show. What a coup! Getting into this one is, like, a major privilege. Everything's coming up Millhouse.

April 23, 2008


Sometimes life passes by like a baseball game I force myself to watch, unmotivated by the action or outcome.

Sometimes life passes me by when I'm forcing myself to watch a baseball game.

It's OK to denigrate the homilies of the United States, unless you are a professional baseball player.

I've been very, very good to baseball. What has it ever done for me?

April 20, 2008

T-Shirts: $14.99
Sizes: S,M,L,XL
Colors: White, Black
100% Cotton

April 17, 2008

Got a light?

They took away my light.
You said I can't play with fire.
With the flame gone I was angry,
Scared, ashamed that I had come to
Depend on how it made things bright.
Paralyzed, thrashing in darkness;
Convinced I needed that sight.

I never would have seen the sun
If you hadn't taken away my light.

from The Night, Love Lost
P.T. Roll

April 16, 2008

A Drinking Song

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift my glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

A Drinking Song
W.B. Yeats

March 16, 2008

The War on ____, Free Speech Zones, Panopticon Society

Here is the entirety of an earlier quoted piece by Ron Paul
(from post "Fear is a Renewable Resource"):

Freedom vs. Security: A False Choice, June 2, 2004

In recent days administration officials have warned the nation about possible terrorist attacks, subjecting us once again to color-coded threat charts and puzzling admonitions to go about our lives as usual. The message is clear: grave danger surrounds us, but ordinary citizens should do nothing and trust the government take care of it.

But the obvious lesson of September 11th is that government cannot protect us. Even with trillions of tax dollars spent on “defense,” hijacked planes flew unchallenged over our skies and attacked national symbols of business and government. Yet now we’re told to put even more faith into the same bureaucracies that failed us so miserably in the past? Self-reliance and self-defense are American virtues; trembling reliance on the illusion of government-provided security is not.

It's easy for elected officials in Washington to tell Americans that government will do whatever it takes to defeat terrorism, but it’s your freedom and your tax dollars at stake – not theirs. The history of the 20th century demonstrates that the Constitution is violated most egregiously during times of crisis. Many of our worst unconstitutional agencies and programs began during the two world wars and the Depression, when the public was anxious and willing to view government as a savior and protector. Ironically, the Constitution itself was conceived in a time of great crisis. The founders intended to place inviolable restrictions on what the federal government could do even in times of great distress. America must guard against current calls for government to violate the Constitution – meaning break the law – in the name of law enforcement.

The misnamed Patriot Act, presented to the public as an anti-terrorism measure, actually focuses on American citizens rather than foreign terrorists. For example, the definition of "terrorism" for federal criminal purposes has been greatly expanded; future administrations may consider you a terrorist if you belong to a pro-gun group, a citizen militia, or a pro-life organization. Legitimate protest against the government could place you (and tens of thousands of other Americans) under federal surveillance. Similarly, your internet use can be monitored without your knowledge, and your internet provider can be forced to hand over user information to law enforcement without a warrant or subpoena.

The biggest problem with these new law enforcement powers is that they bear little relationship to fighting terrorism. Surveillance powers are greatly expanded, while checks and balances on government are greatly reduced. Most of the provisions have been sought after by domestic law enforcement agencies for years, not to fight terrorism, but rather to increase their police power over the American people. The federal government has made no showing that it failed to detect or prevent the September 11th attacks because of the civil liberties that will be compromised by this new legislation.

America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist.

March 14, 2008

Volume Knob

A.M. and P.M. are short for Latin ante meridiem and post meridiem.

March 08, 2008

ouch, my car

crashing cars
in his brain
keep him tied
up to a dream
and only she
can set him

Got home last night after running out to pick up a bottle of Kettle One. The seal seemed to be broken, so after some deliberation I decided to return it to the liquor store. Waiting to turn left into the shopping center ***CRUNCH*** kicked in the back by a thousand donkeys (actually, one donkey driving a Pontiac). 

No warning, no squeal of breaks – just smash.
Subaru was tossed about 80 feet down the road.
My neck hurts.

March 04, 2008

en·nui - noun

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom

February 27, 2008


I have a recurring dream where I'm in a moving vehicle (definitely a convertible) that goes over a series of ups/downs in the road. Each time a peak is reached I levitate a little bit and then plunk back into the car. The dream feels just like the hollowness I've experienced in my waking life when driving over a rise, that lifting/dropping sensation. In the dream I hold on so I won't drift up (no seatbelts on this ride). Eventually I hit the big bump, and I can't hold on, my seat escapes below me, and I'm floating up and over the road... distinctly aware of the eminent impact.

One variation: being in a train that goes through the same process – lifting off the rails at the top of a big rise and floating upward and out of control. Free from the tracks for a moment, but ultimately under the influence of gravity.

It's numbingly terrifying. Speaking of dropping... Jerrrrrsey!

On the plus side, there's Duckman:

"And a pedigreed golden retriever. Because pedigreed is good."
Check out the full episodes on YouTube, this show rocks.

February 20, 2008

Fear is a Renewable Resource

"America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist."

– Ron Paul, from Freedom vs. Security: A False Choice

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

– John "Q-Tip" Adams

Perhaps the application of the second quote is to do the right thing even (especially) when the wall of opposition seems insurmountable. Now, where did I put my "The Good and You" reference guide? Often it is speciously simple to ossify what the right thing is. In many situations it becomes a matter of perspective. An example is the spectrum of viewpoints on current military action by the United States.

I have encountered, and at times been a self-contained example of, an array of conflicting beliefs held by the highest conviction as being right. I find it epistemologically problematic when people hold contradictory, irreconcilable absolutes. If, as Lennon/McCartney placed in addled words, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together," then I feel a shared culpability for others' absolutes, as they could easily have been my own. This affliction of empathy is uncommon amongst the highly polarized/politicized compartments of Democrats and Republicans. The team-mentality of election time in the U.S. is a playful outcropping of a deep need for "Us and Them," a deadly way of alleviating our personal fear and guilt by clinging to a group dependent on each other for survival.

I think we are each imbued with an innate sense or intuition for the good, although that intuition requires empirical honing. That honing should include drawing on the collective experience of history to augment our individual lens for the world. My personal intuition about implementing the good has been very haze-y in recent years, but some developments have emerged. "Revolution is dead." "Why bother?" "There is nothing new under the sun." Lazy pessimism. The battle of wills that has raged for the millennia is a race toward death, but there is, perhaps, another way. It involves withdrawal and self-sacrifice, not revivalist coercion or militant fascism. Thomas Jefferson wrote:

"To preserve the freedom of the human mind and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement."

It's all about Freeeedom, man. Liberty. Not the vacuous hedonism of self-destruction and dogmatic nihilism. Nor the false construct of mystical superstition. I appreciate the inclusion of "freedom of the press" as a sibling to "freedom of the human mind." The communication of ideas, education by a variety of perspectives, is the best hope for the improvement of the condition of man.

I was looking for a clip from King of the Hill where Dale Gribble (a cartoon hero of mine) is using bookstore basement as a firing range.

"And so we say farewell to A Farewell to Arms."
[Blasts a giant hole through the dangling book.]

Copyright-infringement-free YouTube has failed me, but I did come across this, which seemed relevant (and priggishly obscure) enough:

The Minute Men perform "King of the Hill" – I checked out some more of their stuff. Don't really care for the sound, a kind of frantic, strained, ska-punk-pop. And thought the production value of this video was pretty childish (ok, I like the part where the big dude rolls down the hill). But their counterculture appeal against modern feudalism is cool.

February 08, 2008

Out of Time, Out of the Muck

"Out of the muck" is derivative poker terminology for off the ground or up to speed (i.e. – "Finally, this game is out of the muck"). Which is odd, because muck refers to the discard pile at a poker table. Maybe it is slightly pejorative, muck, since it also can be used as a verb; to fold. And folding is lame.

a·nach·ro·nism - noun
  1. Something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time.

  2. An error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one.

February 06, 2008

The Grand!

Yes, Gabe Kaplan is in this movie. And David Cross:
How did you learn to play poker?
"By playing darts."


I'm seeing a lot of questionable exclamation points recently.
What about exclamatory question marks – Who's on stage?

Cheers, YouTube, for being so conducive to lazy blogging.

January 21, 2008

Fecund Mind

"During asparagus season, members are requested not to relieve themselves in the hatstand."

Sniffing for a solution to another of life's great mysteries, I went straight to the source (previously effective in illuminating pompatus).

From big steps + l...

Found that the smell in urine produced by ingesting asparagus is attributed to thioacrylate and thiopropionate, stinky compounds known as thioesters – according to the 1975 findings of UCSD chemist Robert White. The metabolic processes by which the chemicals are formed in urine were not determined by that study.

Mystery prevails.

"Love. A urine mirage in a desert of fear."

P.S. – just because fecund sounds like it has something to do with bodily functions doesn't make it so.

Mr. Pitiful

"Unfamiliar Faces" new album from Matt Costa release tomorrow (1/22/08 - big day for the Gloucester Township Municipal Court).

Single out now, you can see the video on YouTube and others on

Since I can't embed here, you get "It Makes No Difference" from Scorcese film of The Last Waltz:

January 11, 2008

en·tro·py - noun

  1. A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system.
  2. A measure for the loss of information in a transmitted message.
  3. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity.
  4. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society.