Sunday, September 30, 2012

Busy day

A full day in and out ... deck chores ... half a screenplay from an advanced student to evaluate ... tired me out. At this early hour trying to stay awake.

Surprise phone call from old friend and writer ... now ninety and blind but still writing and listening to audio books like crazy. Will try and make her a CD of my book of poems.

Glad tomorrow is not Tues. Need a day of rest.

Green Chevy gets towed tomorrow. Makes it official. Sad. Was a fine car.

Mrs Bridge by Evan S Connell – review | Books | The Observer

Mrs Bridge by Evan S Connell – review | Books | The Observer:

Nice to see my favorite American novel getting reconsideration and a plug in the Guardian/Observer. I studied this in my MFA fiction program (before switching to playwriting), reverse engineering, and of course it influenced my most recent novel in its use of layered vignettes. This is just a gem of a book.

The Sky this Week: September 28–October 7, 2012 - Astronomy Magazine

The Sky this Week: September 28–October 7, 2012 - Astronomy Magazine:

 "Wednesday, October 3
Venus dominates the morning sky all week after it rises around 3:30 a.m. local daylight time. It shines at magnitude –4.1, which makes it the brightest point of light in the sky, and climbs more than 25° above the eastern horizon an hour before sunrise. Be sure to watch for it this morning, however, because it passes just 7' (one-quarter of the Full Moon’s diameter) south of Leo the Lion’s brightest star, Regulus. This is the closest any planet approaches a 1st-magnitude star during 2012. "


Am I the father of all cynics?

Over at the Daily Kos, the champagne is almost popping, so confident are they of a Democratic victory. They have charts and everything.


I don't buy it. I foresee an ugly mess that will make Florida in 2008 look like a bridge club meeting. I see fixes and scandal everywhere, court suits, counter-court suits. Violence wouldn't shock me. And at the end of the mess, I think Romney may well end up in the White House. (That's how deeply I believe racism -- against O, against Hispanics -- goes in this culture. These racists will try anything to win.)

Of course, I hope I'm wrong. In the meantime, to hell with politics, Jupiter was beautiful this morning!


Hanna Rosin: are men an endangered species? | Books | The Observer

Hanna Rosin: are men an endangered species? | Books | The Observer:

Why restrict it to men?

Quotation of the day

What makes old age hard to bear is not a failing of one’s faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one’s memories.
~Somerset Maugham

3,785 Page Pirated Poetry Anthology : Kenneth Goldsmith : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

3,785 Page Pirated Poetry Anthology : Kenneth Goldsmith : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation:

"Featuring the work of 3, 164 poets. Completely unpermissioned and unauthorized, pissing off the entire poetry community. Either you’re in or you’re not. "

I'm in it, it turns out. But I can't say I'm pissed or think it's a very big deal. My delusions of grandeur are placed elsewhere ha ha.

Veteran Emerald Triangle pot growers see their way of life ending - latimes.com

Veteran Emerald Triangle pot growers see their way of life ending - latimes.com:

Corporations strike again. Now they're taking over medical pot, and the old hippy businesses are doomed.

Jupiter rules

Go outside at five in the morning and look straight up. Jupiter dominates the sky. Below it, like an omen, is winter's iconic constellation, Orion. Morning now will be evening soon enough.

Sunday thoughts: the Republicans, or at least the extremists among them, will try and steal the election. They've already begun. And they may well succeed. Some ugliness during election day, including violence, would not surprise me. Citizen civility is a relic of the past.

I really don't want to hang around to see the worst of Nature's logical response to human greed. Damn I'm glad I'm old. Hope I'm old enough to pass naturally and miss it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

RIP Art Scatter?

It's been two months since Bob Hicks has posted at his arts blog, Art Scatter. He hasn't disappeared. He's doing most of his arts writing over at Oregon Arts Watch, no doubt enjoying the paycheck. But I miss him at his blog.

"I think we've got it"

Couldn't find an LA station but found a Colorado football network station online for the game. So far, pre game, so good. Go Bruins!

LATER. Waiting for kickoff. Looks like this will work. Reception is clear, uninterrupted. However, if H uses the phone, I think I get kicked off!


First Q thoughts. UCLA defense playing well. Offense erratic, a fumble, a dropped pass -- but Franklin running well. UCLA leads 7-0. Go Bruins!

p.s. The Colo broadcasters impress me. Most home team broadcasters wear their biases on their sleeves. These guys are very fair, calling a mostly neutral game and very complimentary to UCLA when the Bruins perform well. Rather amazing actually.

Early 2nd Q. Hundley 10-13, Franklin 75 yds in 9. 14-0. Looking good.

And quickly not as good: 14-7.

2 mins until halftime, 21-7. UCLA dominates total yardage, 275-115. Franklin has 90 in 10. If they can avoid shooting themselves in the foot, they can win this easily.

Halftime.


THIRD Q.  UCLA misses FG. Later, near end of third, 28-7. 382 yds offense.

Had to change station, baseball game covered by what I was listening to. Rest of game broadcast by Colorado's progressive radio, which contrasts with Portland State radio games, covered by a right wing station ha ha.

FOURTH Q. 35-7, early. Franklin has has 111, Hundly 234, with a quarter to go. And man, these Colo announcers are great! Oregon announcers are always whining when they're behind. These guys are real pros.
Midway, 42-7. Under 3 mins, 42-14.

Talk about a shootout

Two ranked teams .... Baylor and W Va ... 35-35 at half!... well scrapple done and cooling ... waiting for sun for outside chore ... UCLA at three ... try for net radio ...

On a marina near Astoria

Photo by Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian.


What America Can Learn from Australia’s New Clean Energy Future Package | ThinkProgress

What America Can Learn from Australia’s New Clean Energy Future Package | ThinkProgress:


The cook at work




Dancing with Sketch

Sketch and I have this dance we do on the sofa. I usually sit at the right end ... I have a pillow to lean on and a table for my coffee. And Sketch is okay with this most of the time, either cuddling against my left side or going to the other end of the sofa.

But let me get up for something and I'll return to find Sketch in my place, often using my pillow for a head rest. I let him get away with it.

Sometimes he wants my end when I'm sitting in it. He jumps up and wedges his way in, cracking me up. How can you fight determination like that?

We know who the alpha male is in this family.

A different Saturday

Our first weekend with one car, which means Sketch and I can't take off on an errand whenever we feel like it. This will be an adjustment but I'm for downsizing in this last act of my adventure.

No TV football games grab me until evening. Household chores. Also have a new batch of scrapple on right now. Have an advanced student script to look at, tomorrow I think. A good screenwriter so I look forward to it.

Ready to start the Thoreau project. Maybe Monday on the audio book. Take notes on the new website.

Though a trilogy concept came to me, reported here earlier, I seem to have more present passion for the T project. Ditto for extracting a novella from Emmett's Gift. Also have the old dream of music drama work at the piano. Maybe something surprising will develop over the term. Always ready to surprise myself!

A good start to the new term. I do love teaching ... because I have something to offer that works in the real screenwriting world.

Moby Dick – Live on the Web

Moby Dick – Live on the Web

Friday, September 28, 2012

RIP our green Chevy

We decided some time ago that it was a fool's errand to put major bucks into our second car. I was driving it only locally, less than 150 miles a month. So when we learned the fuel pump was about to go, we decided that would be the end. Hence this morning. At least I didn't get stranded. Died in auto shop parking lot! Got confirmation from mechanic that it was fuel pump time but called AAA instead. Towed home. We are donating it to our jazz station per radio ad. And now my daily rhythm will change considerably.

A different adventure

So much for the plans of the morning. Our 2nd car, we knew, had a fuel pump ready to go ... guess what it went? Had it towed home and now in process of donating it to the jazz radio station. We become a one car family, which affects me more than H. Which is fine. Downsize!

Adventures in public transportation

Dropping off car to be serviced ... hop bus to downtown ... hop streetcar to NW ... breakfast at Nobbys ... reverse trip to fetch car ... and there goes Fri morning

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Washington upsets Stanford

A fun game to watch, as upsets often are if your alma mater isn't the loser.

In the meantime was offered a small writing gig from Oregon Mag, where I've appeared before, and accepted.

Ages since I've had breakfast at Nobbys. Tomorrow!

Watching football with Tom

U of Wash game on tonight. Udub always brings memories of my late friend from Oklahoma. He used to watch a Wash game on TV and marvel at all the yachts in the lake next to the stadium. Seattle must be some kind of rich city for fans to go to football games in their yachts! Tom was great fun esp if an Okie game was on. Boomer Sooners! Rest in peace ol buddy.

Mars Water: NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Signs Of Ancient Stream

Mars Water: NASA's Curiosity Rover Finds Signs Of Ancient Stream:

"The Curiosity Rover has found evidence of an ancient stream that flowed "vigorously" on Mars where the Rover is now exploring, NASA said on Thursday.

NPR reports that this is "definitive proof" that water once existed on Mars.
Stream bed gravels were observed among the rocks on the surface of Mars, according to a statement from NASA."


Quotation of the day II

Happiness is sunshine and a bone.
--Sketch (from "The Wisdom of Rat Terriers") 

Happy Birthday To The Father Of The American Cartoon, Thomas Nast! (PHOTOS)

Happy Birthday To The Father Of The American Cartoon, Thomas Nast! (PHOTOS):





Country icon George Strait announces his final tour – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

Country icon George Strait announces his final tour – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs:

Quotation of the day

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.
~Epictetus

Books bloggers are harming literature, warns Booker prize head judge

Books bloggers are harming literature, warns Booker prize head judge

Yes,Virginia, sometimes not all opinions are equal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For shame, Seattle!

Despite 100 million witnesses saying the opposite, the Seattle coach seems to think his Seahawks actually beat Green Bay. Seattle becomes a fool and laughing stock. Really dumb PR, coach.

Climate Change Deaths Could Total 100 Million By 2030 If World Fails To Act

Climate Change Deaths Could Total 100 Million By 2030 If World Fails To Act:


Mellow Wednesday

Just hanging out today ... run a few chores ... do a little reading ... do a little prep for class ... do it all very slowly.

Scrapple send-off

Really good!

This is the verdict by our departing houseguest ... made her scrapple for breakfast. From the east coast she knows about such things. No better Bon Voyage than scrapple!

Writing outside-in

Looked at the opening pages of a thriller for Kindle I started some time ago and it's pretty good. I do know how to wtite pop lit. After all, a mystery I wrote ... Dead Body In A Small Room ... was a finalist for mystery of the year. I have the craft. What I lack is the interest and ambition. Escapist storytelling feels more like bullshit the older I get. It's a shame ha ha. Story of my life. I can bore myself so easily. Have to keep digging for surprises and revelations. i also become more elitist the older I get. Doomed to marginality, the herald of oblivion.

Packers-Seahawks: NFL follows corporate America's game plan in referees dispute - latimes.com

Packers-Seahawks: NFL follows corporate America's game plan in referees dispute - latimes.com:

"Everybody's talking about the Packers and Seahawks, but the issues in the labor dispute behind the debacle have gotten less attention. You ignore them at your peril, because a lot of companies are calling the same plays."

Now this gets to the heart of the matter. All this is part of a larger war on labor by corporations.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home sweet home

Nice to be back into the rhythm of teaching. Nice to come home after class. Nice to have tomorrow off.

Our good houseguest leaves tomorrow. Normal returns.

I anticipate a good term.

Boycott The NFL, Now

Boycott The NFL, Now:

Hear, hear!

Location, location

My fall class is in the science bldg in a room WITH WINDOWS. Been a while. Moreover, across the street is a Starbucks. Coffee for my office hours! Judging by good questions the first day, I think I have a fine class indeed. I'm ready.

Is Climate Change Hell Now Inevitable? | Common Dreams

Is Climate Change Hell Now Inevitable? | Common Dreams:

"If we have triggered a self-reinforcing methane feedback – and there is growing evidence that we have – then there is little point in talking about solutions.  What is needed is a strategy for maximizing the quality of life for those of our species who survive the coming catastrophe.  "

Have a nice day.

NFL agrees, refs blew it ... but result stands

This Just In - CNN.com Blogs:

 ""This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game," the NFL said in a statement on Tuesday. "It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay."

The league then added: "The result of the game is final.""
NF

Why Obama Matters - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast

Why Obama Matters - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast:

Sullivan is a conservative worth listening to.

Mitt Romney wonders why aircraft windows don't open - TNT Magazine

Mitt Romney wonders why aircraft windows don't open - TNT Magazine:

We can call him the Science President.

The Referees Strike Again : The New Yorker

The Referees Strike Again : The New Yorker:


The NFL needs to end the referee lockout immediately - Grantland

The NFL needs to end the referee lockout immediately - Grantland:

"Enough is enough. My ongoing defense of the replacement referees, from the preseason on, has been that they haven't done anything quite as awful as when the "real" referees simultaneously signaled in opposite directions during a fumble recovery last year. Obviously, that's no longer the case. Monday night's dramatic ending to the Packers-Seahawks game officially saw the league's replacement officials complete their trip from irritating sideshow to spectacular main event by directly changing the outcome of a game on a questionable call, one that was delivered with their reliable combination of befuddlement and insouciance. It was the first time that the replacement officials had turned a win into a loss by making the wrong call on the final play of the game, unless you believe that the same thing happened with the field goal that ended the Patriots-Ravens contest on Sunday night, in which case that just happened in consecutive games. You often hear about games in which the team who got the ball last won. This was a game in which the team who had the opportunity to be screwed last lost."

L: Touchback!  R: Touchdown!

End of summer

If there's sun to be found, Sketch will find it.


Seattle shame

The Seahawks should be ashamed of themselves, strutting around as if they deserve a win after the greatest blown call in the history of football. Admit you caught a break from inept replacement officials.

Fans should boycott games in protest. They won't. Fans are suckers.

We live in an age of greed. Little escapes its corrupting influence.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cooking a specialty

Spent most of the day prepping my delux fisherman's stew. All day base of diced tomatos and white wine ... okra ... gorbanzos ... chopped clams ... sausage ... black olives ... chicken ... spices ... long slow simmer. Last hour add salmon ... cod ... sea scallops ... prawns ... mussels ... serve over rice. Spendy and fantastic.


The 'Self-Made' Hallucination of America's Rich | Common Dreams

The 'Self-Made' Hallucination of America's Rich | Common Dreams:

"As commentator Jim Hightower has colorfully put it, most of our super rich were born on third base and think they hit a triple."


Quotation of the day

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living.  The world owes you nothing.  It was here first. 
~Mark Twain

PBS Ombudsman: NewsHour Climate Story 'Stumbled Badly', Use Of Non-Scientist Watts For Balance Was 'Stunning' | ThinkProgress

PBS Ombudsman: NewsHour Climate Story 'Stumbled Badly', Use Of Non-Scientist Watts For Balance Was 'Stunning' | ThinkProgress:


The Playboy interviews

Bob Dylan: The Playboy Interviews (50 Years of the Playboy Interview) by Bob Dylan , Playboy
I think it finished, New York died after that, late to middle Sixties.
Playboy: What killed it?
Dylan: Mass communication killed it. It turned into one big carnival side show. That is what I sensed and I got out of there when it was just starting to happen. The atmosphere changed from one of creativity and isolation to one where the attention would be turned more to the show. People were reading about themselves and believing it. I don’t know when it happened. Sometime around Peter, Paul and Mary, when they got pretty big.

 Ray Bradbury: The Playboy Interview (50 Years of the Playboy Interview) by Ray Bradbury, Playboy
There are two races of people—men and women—no matter what women’s libbers would have you pretend. The male is motivated by toys and science because men are born with no purpose in the universe except to procreate. There is lots of time to kill beyond that. They’ve got to find work. Men have no inherent center to themselves beyond procreating. Women, however, are born with a center. They can create the universe, mother it, teach it, nurture it. Men read science fiction to build the future. Women don’t need to read it. They are the future.

 Robert Redford: The Playboy Interview (50 Years of the Playboy Interview) by Robert Redford, Playboy
Hollywood has never been a safe place. It’s competitive; it’s cutthroat. People will slice you apart for money, and nobody cares much about artistic content. 

The scholarly e-book revolution is coming, but there’ll be a few bumps on the road

The scholarly e-book revolution is coming, but there’ll be a few bumps on the road

Academia moves so slowly. When I started teaching online years ago, the major state universities were still studying the issur. Eastern Oregon alone was ready. I was among first in state to do this.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall rhythm

Strange summer. Hardly felt like summer at all. Became a bionic man and that's about it.

All the same I'm ready for the classroom. And I do have a redesigned home office. This will affect my work rhythm.

I can work upstairs on the Kindle (as now) but netbook and computer chores now will be done downstairs.

Tempus fugit.

What can technology do for stories?

What can technology do for stories?

A complicated question.

Strange games

UCLA loses by only 7 but the game never feels close. It could be 28.

Oregon wins by 49 but it never feels lopsided. Arizona blows six trips to the red zone. It could be 7.

I end up not knowing how bad UCLA really is or how good Oregon really is.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

We Saved The Ozone Layer. We Can Save The Climate. | ThinkProgress

We Saved The Ozone Layer. We Can Save The Climate. | ThinkProgress:


Best colleges for hippies

Are there still hippies? At any rate, someone published a Top 10 list of colleges for hippies -- and Pdx got TWO on it, #1 Reed College and #8 Lewis and Clark College. Meaning?

Higher ed


Glenn Gould: a wilfully idiotic genius? | Music | The Guardian

Glenn Gould: a wilfully idiotic genius? | Music | The Guardian:

"It's 30 years since the death of Glenn Gould, but the pianist still provokes strong reactions. So how do today's top players assess his legacy?"


Bob Dylan: his Hells Angel conversion | Music | The Guardian

Bob Dylan: his Hells Angel conversion | Music | The Guardian:


Religious intolerance on the rise worldwide, says US report | World news | guardian.co.uk

Religious intolerance on the rise worldwide, says US report | World news | guardian.co.uk:

"Pew Research Centre report says the US and UK are among countries showing a worrying rise in religious discrimination"


British wine snobs learning to love screw tops and boxes | Life and style | The Guardian

British wine snobs learning to love screw tops and boxes | Life and style | The Guardian:

"Four in 10 wine drinkers now agree the quality of wine in a box or a pouch is as good as the bottled option"

In the Army, it was Gallo Red Mountain, less than a dollar a gallon. In a bottle.

A restless, inquisitive mind

I woke up with an incredible notion. Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones is the first novel of a trilogy about CJ. And the next two came almost fully formed:

  • The Reluctant Suicide. Set several years in the future. CJ has been living on the road in his van. He had a short relationship with a woman he met in a campground, a vagabond like himself. But now the early effects of climate change are becoming more dramatic, some coastal cities flooded by rising seas. CJ decides he doesn't want to hang around to watch it. He considers himself blessed and ready to pass. But how? His notion is that he should be just as eligible for doctor assistance as someone with a terminal illness. He argues that life itself is a terminal illness. But no help is available, which means he must do the deed himself. What a drag! And how? He researches the matter, doesn't trust most methods because he could screw it up, decides on a bullet in the brain, in the woods to account for the mess. And he does the deed.
  • CJ In Heaven & Hell. Great political turmoil in heaven! The Old School Angels Party, active for centuries, has finally garnered political strength to end and reverse considerable liberalization of the rules of heaven and to return to the conservative, stringent good old days. CJ comes to the pearly gates during this struggle for power and becomes a test case. By the old rules, suicides are not allowed into heaven but progressive angels over the centuries have relaxed the rule to permit exceptions. Can CJ be admitted to heaven or not? Clarence Darrow, himself a benefactor of liberal changes, volunteers to represent CJ in the legal battle for admittance. Also on CJ's side are Neitzsche, Thomas Paine, Marx and a host of others that the Old School Angels Party would have expelled. CJ will lose his case: but expulsion from heaven will prove to be meaningless because, as Sartre has been arguing all along, it turns out that heaven and hell are identical. There's nowhere else to go. CJ must accept that this is all there is.
Now of course, considerable trickery, magic, and personal drama must be added to the mix to make this drama and not a lecture, but this is an old problem I've faced and solved many times before. I think I can do the second. The third will be the hardest, requiring more research on the issue than I've done in the past. 

By Tom Strah, that I've named CJ
Now will I actually write the trilogy? I don't know yet. But it came to me this morning with more than usual clarity. And, of course, I'm in love with CJ. How could I not be?

So we'll see.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Robert L. Borosage: Senate Republicans Shaft the Vets

Robert L. Borosage: Senate Republicans Shaft the Vets:


Still prep to do

Not quite ready for class next Tuesday but close. Need to get a lot done tomorrow.

I'm going to try and spend more time in my office now and less upstairs.

Tried some piano and it's like going to the starting line as far as finger muscles are concerned. That's fine. Have a great boogie woogie book and hope to go through it leisurely but regularly, daily, see what happens after a few months at it.

I have a good net connection with the netbook down here. I used to have dial up on the old computer but PSU discontinued it. My slim newer desktop crashed and I don't think it's worth it to get it fixed since I'm not really doing anything, like editing video, that might make it useful. I can get by with the netbook. Downsizing etc.

Actually I now connect with the Kindle to check email more than with anything else. A Kindle-sized tablet with great power, and no heavier (I can hold it and operate it with one hand! a real plus) would be an ideal digital tool for me.

Supposed to go to dinner tonight but I'm going to beg out. In no social mood whatever. House was unrelaxing all day with the house cleaner here, I'm still burrowing into my cave.

Loved the hanging out in Yakima. I could hang out the rest of my life pretty damn easily. I find the lack of plans very relaxing.

My home office



My office overhaul isn't done but done enough to work in now. My various gadgets/tools, clockwise from lower left corner, are:

  • keyboard ... hope to get more into music/piano this fall, after ignoring it for a while.
  • my main computer ... nothing special. Old, no wifi card so I use internet with ...
  • my small netbook on the small table, with my ...
  • Kindle next to it.
So here is everything I need to do anything I seem to want to do. There's a radio here as well, for music and CDs. There's a small TV for watching cassettes. Pretty compact but complete office, now somewhat clean and -- this was the main work -- considerably less cluttered. I really should have done before and after photos.

Big games Saturday

Two big Pac 12 games forthcoming, Oregon State at UCLA in the afternoon, Arizona at Oregon in the evening, both could hold surprises. I, of course, am rooting for my two alma maters.

Feast of Fools and the Rule of Money | Common Dreams

Feast of Fools and the Rule of Money | Common Dreams:

"How American Democracy Became the Property of a Commercial Oligarchy"


UCLA Football: The Transformation Under Jim Mora Is Astounding | Bleacher Report

UCLA Football: The Transformation Under Jim Mora Is Astounding | Bleacher Report:

Yes, it is ... but we'll know more in December.

How the Mother Jones video reveals Romney's resentments : The New Yorker

How the Mother Jones video reveals Romney's resentments : The New Yorker:


The life of Ford Madox Ford

The life of Ford Madox Ford:

"Ford's biographer Max Saunders explores the life of one of the most mercurial, protean figures in literary history."


'Great Gatsby': May 2013 Release Date Set For Baz Luhrmann Film

'Great Gatsby': May 2013 Release Date Set For Baz Luhrmann Film:


Robert Reich: Four Reasons Why Romney Might Still Win

Robert Reich: Four Reasons Why Romney Might Still Win:

The man's right.

U.S. Income Inequality Worse Now Than In 1774: Study

U.S. Income Inequality Worse Now Than In 1774: Study:


Rural Minorities Ponder The American Dream From The Bottom Rung Of The Economic Ladder

Rural Minorities Ponder The American Dream From The Bottom Rung Of The Economic Ladder:

 ""I never thought there were people living like this, like we're living here, in the United States," she says. "We always thought, 'This is the United States -- it's the United States, it's the best.' We didn't think when we came here that we would live like kings, but we didn't imagine there would be places like this.""


'Planetary Emergency': New Data Elevates Climate Change Alarm | Common Dreams

'Planetary Emergency': New Data Elevates Climate Change Alarm | Common Dreams:

"Arctic exploitation 'perfect indictment of our failure to get to grips with the greatest problem we've ever faced'"

Where the hell is Obama on this issue? Silent because he's afraid of losing votes.

Print On Demand: Major Announcement Could Change How You Buy Books | The Passive Voice

Print On Demand: Major Announcement Could Change How You Buy Books | The Passive Voice:

A very big deal.

Could Norway’s Publishing Model Work in the United States? | The Passive Voice

Could Norway’s Publishing Model Work in the United States? | The Passive Voice:

"Norway buys 1000 copies of every book a Norwegian author publishes. It provides a $19,000 annual subsidy to every author who is a member of the Authors’ Union. "

Never happen here.

Investigation: Pipeline Detection Systems Miss 9 Out Of 10 Spills | ThinkProgress

Investigation: Pipeline Detection Systems Miss 9 Out Of 10 Spills | ThinkProgress:


Hanging out around Yakima

Here are some highlights of our few days hanging out in the Yakima area. I had one disappointment: the small town of Teiton, average age under 30, a town trying to build itself on artisan businesses. It's too soon to judge this experiment, but right now there isn't much to it. Down the road, who knows? One interesting factoid: you can't get a meal other than Mexican food in town.

Yakima area

Toppennish is a town filled with dozens of murals throughout the city. Click image to enlarge.
















Our favorite town in the area was Naches. Down home. With a hotel on Main St for future reference.

Lunch in Naches
Came home on old road through Klickitat, no traffic, great, and found summer rentals on the river in K for future reference.

Along Klickitat River: joy is in the timing

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Deeper Look At False Balance On PBS News Hour | ThinkProgress

A Deeper Look At False Balance On PBS News Hour | ThinkProgress:

Equal time for flat earthers, is what it amounts to. Ridiculous.

Actress in anti-Muslim film sues for its removal - Yahoo! News

Actress in anti-Muslim film sues for its removal - Yahoo! News:

Good for her.

A great book

I really am enjoying my revisit with the Rhodes book on the atomic bomb. What makes this book so special is not its momentous subject matter but the author's lively portrayals of the players. Just first rate.

Dancing on the Titanic

For the life of me I don' understand why the folks at the Daily Kos and other liberal churches think the election is over. They spend far too much time preaching to the choir and not enough hsanging out in blue collar bars. This is a very divided country. The election will be decided by turnout and what liberals see as R's mistakes in fact are inspiring the base big time. Not the professional politicians. The base, the voters. I think R's chances have improved. We progressives must run scared, not imdulge in the usual masturbatory celebrations.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Explorations

Checking out small towns around Yakima. Teiton disappointing. Naches is wonderful. Details follow. Now for route home ...

Rereading

Kindle just released the brilliant Richard Rhodes book on making the atomic bomb, which I read twenty years ago. Now again and just a few pages in reminds me what a fine book this is. And long so this will keep me busy for a while.

Penguin signs a Fifty Shades copycat

Penguin signs a Fifty Shades copycat

Publishing now follows the Hollywood model.

Here's the deal

Hey "checking out" does not mean the Big S! Yesterday was a quick blog entry on the road to mark the date. Our deck being repaired ... we took off to keep out of the way ... in Yakima ... hanging out and soon home to new deck. School final prep. But all is well!

i love brown landscape. Brown over green. Must be from San Gabriel mts of youth.

Hanging out is great.

By 2014, 10-15 Percent of Social Media Reviews to Be Fake

By 2014, 10-15 Percent of Social Media Reviews to Be Fake

I think much more.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Checking in

Checking out ....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to boil an egg | Life and style | The Observer

How to boil an egg | Life and style | The Observer:

"Everyone knows how to do it. But to get your egg absolutely perfect every time, follow Simon Hopkinson's advice"


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – review | Books | The Observer

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – review | Books | The Observer:

"Dickens's tale of love and revolution in London and Paris is among his finest, both intimate and epic in scale"


Why the Scottish wildcat is staring extinction in the face | Environment | The Observer

Why the Scottish wildcat is staring extinction in the face | Environment | The Observer:


Jack Kerouac's ex-girlfriend lifts lid on beat novelist's rise and fall | Books | The Observer

Jack Kerouac's ex-girlfriend lifts lid on beat novelist's rise and fall | Books | The Observer:

 "Joyce Johnson, an accomplished author, also dispels the myth that Kerouac's writing was effortlessly spontaneous. Where he claimed his novel On the Road was written in a blast of energy during three weeks in 1951 she recalls that he spent years revising his work and carefully crafted each paragraph."


Bitter irony of Alzheimer's for Nobel laureate Marquez as his symptoms mimic masterpiece | Society | The Observer

Bitter irony of Alzheimer's for Nobel laureate Marquez as his symptoms mimic masterpiece | Society | The Observer:


Iran's children look on and families cry for pardons at daily hangings | World news | The Observer

Iran's children look on and families cry for pardons at daily hangings | World news | The Observer:

"Once as a child, on my way to school, I became an inadvertent spectator of an execution, my eyes shocked at seeing the guards draping a rope around the neck of a convict. The sight has haunted me ever since."

What are the limits of cultural relativism?

Sunday morning QB

Nothing like reading the LA Times after a UCLA game. Several long stories on game from every angle. That's what a real newspaper does ... hint hint.

Now conf play begins

UCLA had an easy but sloppy win. Five turnovers. But Houston had six. Need to be better Sat. when Ore St comes to the Rose Bowl.

I can't remember the last time the Bruins were the only undefeated football team in LA!

Defense impressive last night.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The fun of it all

NO. 21 STANFORD UPSETS NO. 2 USC, 21-14
PITT SURPRISES NO. 13 VIRGINIA TECH 35-17
NO. 20 NOTRE DAME BEATS NO. 10 MICHIGAN STATE 20-3
NO. 3 LSU DEFEATS WINLESS IDAHO 63-14

Game channel

Here's how I am "watching" the UCLA game, play by play on the computer with diagrams.


And on "live" TV, Stanford just upset USC! Ah, a good night to be in Palo Alto.

LATER. I can get play by play on my Kindle with NY Times Mobile Sports. Far out!

'The Master' Breaks Art House Box Office Records

'The Master' Breaks Art House Box Office Records:


Crossed fingers

Can't watch tonight's UCLA - Houston game because DirecTv and Pac 12 network haven't made a deal yet. But I think I found the LA radio station that broadcasts he games, and it has net access -- so maybe I hear it on the radio, which is just as fun anyway. Hope so!

Still frustrated that Cal blew such an opportunity for an upset. I blame the coach. Tie game, 4 mins, 4th and 1 close in -- and he brings out the field goal kicker, normally a good idea, but the guy already had missed two BADLY -- and he missed this one just as badly. Ohio State scored next possession on a 3rd and long play that had blown coverage, a very long TD to win the game.

I think these teams sometimes lose it mentally when they are on the verge of a big upset. No one gave Cal the slightest chance. They blew 16 pts and still made it close -- but in the end, mental mistakes by coach and players blew it.

This is a big test for UCLA. In the past culture, big wins were followed by letdowns and loses or poor victories against inferior opponents. UCLA should win this. However, what worries me is that Houston has a passing fool QB, and may face 70+ attempts. Pass defense is not a Bruin strength.

Go, Bruins!

p.s. 52-6 Washington, end of 3 Qs.

p.p.s. the station isn't broadcasting the game. Sigh. No way so far to follow it ... will try espn etc. A BIT LATER, solution is Yahoo game channel. And UCLA defense scored in first minute.

Cal blows it

Cal spotted Ohio St sixteen pts ... three missed FGs and a TD called back ... and lost by seven. Should have been another Pac 12 upset. Cal esp fell apart in last four mins.

Wash killing Pdx St at half 35 to 0. Painful to watch.

Slanted

Ah the left can be as irrational and self-serving as the right. They don't scare me quite as much. Their recent giddiness about future victory strikes me as absurd. Of course I hope they are right. But I live in a darker more evil universe than they do. Ask CJ.

Success

When I look back at my work from some distance .... let' say to things written before 1990 ... I find considerable work I own up to. Sometines it even blows me away. Not everything but enough to make me feel like I did a good job. And more often than I remember.

Of course from another perspective my work is marginal at best. But I define success, not the outside world. By and large I did what I set out to do. Salinger would be pleased. Gary Ross would be pleased. Both have written eloquently about defining your own success.

Scott Brown, Wall Street's Hope to Stop Elizabeth Warren - Businessweek

Scott Brown, Wall Street's Hope to Stop Elizabeth Warren - Businessweek:

I hope she wins ... and becomes presidential.

Romney’s Jaw-Dropping Incoherence | Common Dreams

Romney’s Jaw-Dropping Incoherence | Common Dreams:

"Both during the Republican primaries and since he nailed down the GOP nomination, he has demonstrated a readiness to say whatever he thinks will help him politically without regard to its truthfulness or its fairness."


Ocean drive: a road trip around Portland, Oregon | Travel | The Guardian

Ocean drive: a road trip around Portland, Oregon | Travel | The Guardian:

"Tempted by Portland, one of the US's coolest cities? Be sure to visit Oregon's coast too, where the arty vibe has spread to its lovely seaside villages"

Very long travel article on our city. Interesting what she chooses to write about -- and neglect. She's heavy into pop music scene, which I am  not  After all, I've been listening to Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker for over half a century and see no reason to stop now ha ha.

Where did punk begin? A cinema in Peru | Music | guardian.co.uk

Where did punk begin? A cinema in Peru | Music | guardian.co.uk:

"Almost a decade before the Ramones or the Sex Pistols struck a chord in anger, Los Saicos were screaming their way to notoriety"

There's always someone ahead of the curve.

Anti-western violence gripping the Arab world has little to do with a film | World news | guardian.co.uk

Anti-western violence gripping the Arab world has little to do with a film | World news | guardian.co.uk:

"Attacks on embassies have more to do with perceived imperialism and the activities of Muslim fundamentalists"


Moby-Dick Big Read captures stars for audio-visual voyage | Books | The Guardian

Moby-Dick Big Read captures stars for audio-visual voyage | Books | The Guardian:

"David Cameron, Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry and Simon Callow jump aboard ambitious project to broadcast Herman Melville's classic novel in its entirety – 135 chapters over 135 days"

Download a chapter a day.


Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded | Environment | guardian.co.uk:

"Rate of summer ice melt smashes two previous record lows and prompts warnings of accelerated climate change"


Friday, September 14, 2012

Valerie Plame Wilson: Why Is the U.S. Government Bullying an American Hero?

Valerie Plame Wilson: Why Is the U.S. Government Bullying an American Hero?:


Michael Hogan: 'Innocence Of Muslims' Proves That Literally Anyone Can Make a Movie These Days

Michael Hogan: 'Innocence Of Muslims' Proves That Literally Anyone Can Make a Movie These Days:


Stop it, already!

These dancing liberals are driving me crazy. Look, this election will be determined by turnout and how many voters Republicans can disqualify. Polls are meaningless. And dangerous. Liberals should make sure the voters get out and get IDs where necessary. My prediction? Another court decided fiasco, Romney wins but will be impeached before term is out. and then oops ... ha ha. how can it not get crazy disgusting sad fascist?

Office progress

Real progress today! And this was supposed to be the first chore of the summer. The gods had other ideas. A session or two should do it.

Premature

Over at Daily Kos and other progressive forums they are celebrating Obama's victory already. But I remain nervous about the election. If they can't win it, they still can steal it. A Romney victory would not surprise me.

Round Bend Press: Let's Get Lost

Round Bend Press: Let's Get Lost:

This doc film about Chet Baker is remarkable. Also remarkable is how such a self-destructive violent personality could create such tender romantic music. One of the wonders of art -- and a warning, never confuse the art with the artist! Art has a price and usually it's the artist who pays it. Another argument supporting Philip Glass' contention that all art should be presented anonymously so we don't romanticize the transaction.

Also remarkable is the biography Deep in a Dream: the Long Night of Chet Baker. Baker lost his teeth, a consequence of his life style, and re-learned the trumpet all over again late in life.

X-rays unravel mysterious degradation of Vincent Van Gogh painting

X-rays unravel mysterious degradation of Vincent Van Gogh painting:


Solar and wind energy may stabilise the power grid

Solar and wind energy may stabilise the power grid:


James Cameron: 'Hollywood gets action women wrong' | Film | The Guardian

James Cameron: 'Hollywood gets action women wrong' | Film | The Guardian:


Woody Allen: 'To have been a lead character in a juicy scandal doesn't bother me' | Film | The Guardian

Woody Allen: 'To have been a lead character in a juicy scandal doesn't bother me' | Film | The Guardian:


Brigitte Bardot: celebrity crushed me | Film | guardian.co.uk

Brigitte Bardot: celebrity crushed me | Film | guardian.co.uk:


False positives: fraud and misconduct are threatening scientific research | Science | The Guardian

False positives: fraud and misconduct are threatening scientific research | Science | The Guardian:

"High-profile cases and modern technology are putting scientific deceit under the microscope
"


Security blanket

My favorite time of day is 4 to 7 a.m. Downhill after that. And my first activity of the day is going through the L. A. Times. L.A. feels more like home than Portland.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Federal justice agency reaches 'preliminary agreement' with Portland police on needed reforms | OregonLive.com

Federal justice agency reaches 'preliminary agreement' with Portland police on needed reforms | OregonLive.com:

 "The Portland Police Bureau has engaged in a pattern of excessive force that violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution involving people with mental illness, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday. "

My reaction as someone who lives here? Duh.

Quotation of the non-truth era

Politics is pissing in public.
--Norman O. Brown

Boston literary start-up lands Amazon deal | The Passive Voice

Boston literary start-up lands Amazon deal | The Passive Voice:

Astounding new opportunities in publishing.

Recent reading

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity by James Hansen
Once large sea level rise begins to devastate coastal cities around the world, creating hundreds of millions of refugees, there may be a breakdown of global governance. But regardless of that, if ocean circulation changes, such that warmer Pacific Ocean water begins sinking to the ocean floor and melting methane hydrates, there will be no plausible way for humans to reverse that change of ocean circulation. While we can’t predict the details of short-term human history, changes will be momentous. China, despite its growing economic power, will have great difficulties as hundreds of millions of Chinese are displaced by rising seas. With the submersion of Florida and coastal cities, the United States may be equally stressed. 

 Jack Nicholson: The Playboy Interviews (50 Years of the Playboy Interview) by Jack Nicholson, Playboy
I was also part of a generation that was raised on cool jazz and Jack Kerouac, and we walked around in corduroys and turtlenecks talking about Camus and Sartre and existentialism and what going on the road would be like. We stayed up all night and slept till three in the afternoon. We were among the few people around seeing European pictures. We went to Dylan’s and Ravi Shankar’s early concerts. We smoked a lot of dope, usually in the toilet or out in the backyard or driveway, ’cause it wasn’t cool to do it in public. Zen was coming in, so we knew about Alan Watts. Most of us had been fortunate chronologically; we hadn’t had to go to war. And we were probably among the first group of people who weren’t buying the American dream.

 The Myth of American Exceptionalism by Mr Godfrey Hodgson
American Exceptionalism. The core of that belief is the idea that the United States is not just the richest and most powerful of the world's more than two hundred states but is also politically and morally exceptional. Exceptionalists minimize the contributions of other nations and cultures to the rule of law and to the evolution of political democracy.

Mitt Romney and the "Libya Surprise": How it Unfolded : The New Yorker

Mitt Romney and the "Libya Surprise": How it Unfolded : The New Yorker:


“LIBYA SURPRISE” COULD BE DEATH KNELL FOR ROMNEY CAMPAIGN



Wishful thinking, my liberal friends. You over-estimate the electorate. Yes, it enrages many of us but it also is what many others were waiting for, Romney to raise hell. Who cares what the facts are? We are in "a post-truth era," remember? Twilight days indeed, Mr. Berman!

The Hollywood connection: how a real estate man's film led to rage in Libya | World news | guardian.co.uk

The Hollywood connection: how a real estate man's film led to rage in Libya | World news | guardian.co.uk:

"The Innocence of Muslims drew almost no one to the cinema in California. In Benghazi it provoked deadly fury"

Talk about a contrast of cultures.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daily Kos: Open thread for night owls: The Romney smirk

Daily Kos: Open thread for night owls: The Romney smirk:

I know what he means.

Cast of Anti-Islam Film Slams Filmmaker for Deception - The Hollywood Reporter

Cast of Anti-Islam Film Slams Filmmaker for Deception - The Hollywood Reporter:

Unfortunately directors manipulating actors during the shooting of a film happens more often than lay folks realize. Screenwriters get manipulated as well. Sometimes it's not a very ethical industry.

The Embassy Attacks In Libya And Egypt - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast

The Embassy Attacks In Libya And Egypt - The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan - The Daily Beast:

Romney, alas, will win as well as lose votes for his shocking comments and stupidity. But it certainly makes his election more frightening than ever.

Tweet of the day


A Jewish idiot makes a film, a Christian idiot promotes it,
Muslim idiots kill over it, and Republican idiots condemn
Obama.

CERN scientists brainstorm future role

CERN scientists brainstorm future role:


Mathematician announces that he's proved the ABC conjecture

Mathematician announces that he's proved the ABC conjecture:

"To mathematicians it's akin to the Grand Unified Theory of physics, a proof that would tie together most of the fundamental ideas in the field into one neat, fully explainable bundle."


Dark energy is real, say astronomers

Dark energy is real, say astronomers:


Please release me!

See the doc later this morning. Hopefully I'll be released to FULL ACTIVITY. In which case, this afternoon I'll mow the lawn! Or ...


120 PM. Results. "Guarded release." That is, full activity approved but don't overdo it and monitor the incision. "Full recovery takes a year." First I heard that. At any rate, I'm mowing some lawn! And I can sleep on my left side again!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11



From Love At Ground Zero

BEFORE THE NEW York sun had climbed to noon, by which
time television stations around the world were repeating, like a
film loop in a pornographic peep show, images of unthinkable
catastrophe; before TV anchors found their gravest tones of
voice with which to christen the shocking events “a day of
infamy,” no less historic and horrific than December 7th
or November 22nd, days etched permanently into memory by all
who experienced them; before America’s violent baptism under
the clear blue sky of a late summer morning; it was, after all,
just an ordinary day beginning in an ordinary way.

Commuters by the tens of thousands streamed into the city
by train and subway, by bus and car, by bicycle and on foot,
rushing forward in a relentless march to another work day, with
computers to boot, phone calls to make, meetings to attend,
deals to close, new deals to initiate. Deals were lurking
everywhere (“the business of America is business”) in this city
that considered itself the financial center of the world and
therefore the center of western civilization, New York,
stretching awake with no suspicion of how much political
innocence could be lost so quickly, oblivious to its
vulnerability, oblivious to the march of history. September 11,
2001, was just another day as a great city scurried to life, a day
like yesterday and presumably a day like tomorrow. Not an
American hurrying to work could have guessed what was about
to happen. You certainly didn’t expect it.



5.0 out of 5 stars
 He Does It Again June 3, 2004
Format:Paperback
In Love At Ground Zero, novelist, playwright, and teacher Charles Deemer presents a haunting story in the style of Romeo and Juliet about the love between an American boy and an Indonesian Muslim girl during the aftermath of the World Trade Center destruction.
Deemer puts the tale in present tense, occassionally passing cynical asides directed at the reader, making the novel not only a well-written narrative, but a challenging interactive experience.
One not only feels for the star-crossed protagonists, but also sees himself and his prejudices as the families regard one another with fear in light of present situations.
This is a novel which requires a second reading before an analysis can be made. As a rule, Deemer writes deep, moving, complex fiction which challenges the reader to think about himself and his own place in this changing world rather than the escapist shallow stories which purvade (sp?) Popular fiction today.
However, this novel deserves that second reading. And a third. And a fourth.
Definitely something which belongs in classrooms in later years.
p.s. What?! More than one reading? There's no accounting for taste ha ha.


Harriet was inspired by this novel to do a painting with the same title.

"Love At Ground Zero" by Harriet K. Levi


And then the painting became the cover of my later novel, 

.

Walker's Drive-In & Restaurant Fort Smith, AR, 72901 - YP.com

Walker's Drive-In & Restaurant Fort Smith, AR, 72901 - YP.com:

"Last curb service BEER in the country. Yes we can serve beer to your car. Please drink responsibly!! "

Reminds me of a hot afternoon in the early 1970s, a small town in the midwest, we are cruising through when we pass a bar with an alley and a "drive in service" sign. No, we thought -- but let's try! So we drove to the window, ordered 4 gin and tonics to go -- and no problem. Off we went, in those days when drinking and driving was pretty common, at least in our circles. And there's nothing like a good gin and tonic on a blistering afternoon.

Lost opportunity

For a short time after 9/11, the U.S. had the sympathy of much of the world. What a missed opportunity to do something positive with it, even as we faced the enemy now before us. But we had a cowboy in charge and more complicated personal relationships and myths at work than Shakespeare could handle. We blew it. We went after the wrong enemy for the wrong reasons. We blew it big time. We probably will never get an opportunity like that again.

Joe Biden offers poignant words on a difficult day | OregonLive.com

Joe Biden offers poignant words on a difficult day | OregonLive.com:

"My hope for you all is that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes and you find comfort, as I have, genuine comfort in recalling his smile, her laugh, their touch.  And I hope you’re as certain as I am that she can see what a wonderful man her son has turned out to be, grown up to be; that he knows everything that your daughter has achieved, and that he can hear, and she can hear how her mom still talks about her, the day he scored the winning touchdown, how bright and beautiful she was on that graduation day, and know that he knows what a beautiful child the daughter he never got to see has turned out to be, and how much she reminds you of him.  For I know you see your wife every time you see her smile on your child’s face.  You remember your daughter every time you hear laughter coming from her brother’s lips.  And you remember your husband every time your son just touches your hand."


Daily routine

video

"Light ice in mine!"


TV Forecasters: Please Connect Climate and Extreme Weather | ThinkProgress

TV Forecasters: Please Connect Climate and Extreme Weather | ThinkProgress:

i.e. educate the public.

America the Possible: Breaking the Chains of Consumerism | Common Dreams

America the Possible: Breaking the Chains of Consumerism | Common Dreams:

 "A consumer society is one in which consumerism and materialism are central aspects of the dominant culture, where goods and services are acquired not only to satisfy common needs but also to secure identity and meaning. Framing this situation as a matter of consumer sovereignty--where the customer is always right--is misleading. Consumption patterns are powerfully shaped by forces other than preformed individual preferences--forces such as advertising, cultural norms, social pressures, and psychological associations."

As one of my poems ends, "let people shop and they'll put up with anything"