Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Texting softball

Portland State has a neat app online for following softball games pitch by pitch. Using it now for end of game against Oregon State, behind 4-3. Talk about a reflective sporting event!

Daily Kos: Former lawmakers to hear testimony on UFOs, decide whether they exist

Daily Kos: Former lawmakers to hear testimony on UFOs, decide whether they exist:

A Writerly Retirement: Song of the day, week, month, year, decade, century ...

A Writerly Retirement: Song of the day, week, month, year, decade, century ...:

United States Academic Decathlon : 2013 State Competition Scores

United States Academic Decathlon : 2013 State Competition Scores:

Oregon doesn't even participate. Hiss boo.

I Quit! | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe

I Quit! | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

Pipe dreams apparently?

Round Bend Press: Summer Projects Shaping Up

Round Bend Press: Summer Projects Shaping Up:

Good things happening here.

How Muriel Spark rescued Mary Shelley | TLS

How Muriel Spark rescued Mary Shelley | TLS:

"I n 1950 the thirty-two-year-old tyro poet Muriel Spark drew up a proposal for a “Critical Biography” of Mary Shelley. The project was never going to be easy to sell to publishers. Spark was virtually unknown outside the London poetry scene and, in any case, there was little interest in female novelists of the nineteenth century. "

9 Letters From Young J. D. Salinger Unearthed - NYTimes.com

9 Letters From Young J. D. Salinger Unearthed - NYTimes.com:

War On Whistleblowers

War On Whistleblowers:

A documentary. Obama is not progressive on this issue.

Chilly winds

Going where the chilly winds never blow, says the song, but unfortunately that's not along the walk from the bus stop to campus. I froze my ass off. In two days it's supposed to hit 80! Yeah, right.

Caught up

Don't like to cut it this close but finally done with class prep. Collect midterms Thurs., halfway through term. Tempus fugit and all that.

Great letter

Fine letter in LA Times this morning. LA high schools finished one and two in national Academic Decathlon. On return, no mayor, no dignitaries at airport to greet teams. No parade. Jocks trump brains.

NBC Evening News: 'All Along America's Coast, People Are Discovering Beach Living May Not Be Sustainable' | ThinkProgress

NBC Evening News: 'All Along America's Coast, People Are Discovering Beach Living May Not Be Sustainable' | ThinkProgress:

 "It would have been nice if once in the story, NBC could have brought themselves to utter the words “climate change” or “global warming” — let alone mention the carbon pollution that is causing this ever-worsening situation."

Monday, April 29, 2013


I seem to have a finite allocation of energy for the day. Important to distribute it wisely, with teaching chores getting first priority. So far, so good.


Student work online for discussion tomorrow. Still have 2 scripts to read. Need second wind.

Grunt work Monday

All day long, once I get started.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

80 degrees

...in the forecast! Th, F, Sa, Su. Believe it when I feel it.

Mariners move into 3rd


Death Cafe meeting

Not bad for a first local step in a global movement. Huge interest, folks turned away. Should therefore grow here. Met interesting folks. A bit too much preaching to the choir; maybe 75% in related profession. I'll go again.

Going down slow

Exactly how I feel today.

Students first

Today's mantra.


Mariners can move into 3rd with win today. 2 games out of cellar.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Calif. Academy of the Sciences

Their app cam at the penguin exhibit is so technically superior to anything I've seen, I wish I knew more about it and why others don' t use it.

BBQ weather

Got the habachi out of the shed, bought some exotic sausages to barbecue, picked up salads at the deli ... a touch of summer! Which ends Monday with cool showers, back to normal.

Student work to read! Putting it off to enjoy the rare sunshine.

Derby Day

Only a week away! A great sports tradition, big in my house growing up, always on the radio. Dad seemed to root for jockeys more than horses, esp Willie Shoemaker. Also Santa Anita regulars like Eddie Arcaro. A big event.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Second wind

Up a few hours, then exhausted and crashed. Back up. Lots of chores, inside and out, beginning with making scrapple.

Quotation of the day

"If the American people knew the truth about Dallas, there would be blood in the streets." --Robert Kennedy

Perhaps true when he said it. Today, who cares?

Morning, penguins!

Seems like this penguin app is a bit addictive. It also is more technically advanced than other cam apps I've used: quick to load, high quality image, 3 views incl underwater. Gets busy at feeding times but any time can be interesting. Impressive app.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mariners' second wind?

6-0 over Angels after eight; and Astros lost; hey, maybe they're energized to avoid the cellar.

Quotation of the day

"The United States is the most livable Banana Republic in the world." --Dr. Lionel Avis

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tea Party

Reading an extraordinary book that traces the history of today's Tea Party and sets this against the historic Boston Tea Party (not so called until the 19th C) and the uses of the latter in history, especially during the Bicentennial. Enlightening, a bit depressing. More when I finish.

Citizen Hearing on Disclosure - April 29 to May 3, 2013 - Washington, DC | Citizen Hearing on DisclosureCitizen Hearing on Disclosure | "If the Congress won't do its job, the people will."

Citizen Hearing on Disclosure - April 29 to May 3, 2013 - Washington, DC | Citizen Hearing on DisclosureCitizen Hearing on Disclosure | "If the Congress won't do its job, the people will.":

"An event with historical implications will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC from April 29 to May 3, 2013.  At that time as many as forty researchers and military/agency witnesses will testify for thirty hours over five days before former members of the United States Congress."

Will anyone pay attention? Does anyone give a damn? You can watch on the net.


This is how much the Mariners are ahead of Houston, keeping out of last place for another day.

Is this the day?

In Houston the Mariners are being creamed in a contest for last place. And the season looked so hopeful after spring training.

Can it be?

3 mid-70s days in a row? That's actually comfortable. When is the last time the weather made me comfortable?

Kitchen rituals

Clearly my most important kitchen ritual is making scrapple but a close second is making cold brewed coffee in my large French press. Just poured my first iced coffee of the day. Comfort drink.

Feel good app

I downloaded a free app that's a webcam looking at the penguin exhibit at the Calif Academy of Sciences. Very neat. Probably lots of similar apps around. Turn the Fire into a zoo.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Come home with urgent need to vegitate. The Event, here I come.

Why I'm an alien

Been revisiting The Event, a sci fi thriller on NBC a few years back, and enjoying the hell out of it. Thought I'd post some good reviews since I dig it so much. I can't find any. It bombed. Cancelled after one season, which I knew (but thought it was like a mini series, complete in 20 odd episodes). So, I who seldom find pop TV I like, find this -- and everybody else hates it. Typical.

I read the 4 main reasons it failed with viewers. #1, the very thing I like best about it! It's jumping time line.
If you get up to for a drink, answer the phone or use the restroom, there’s a good chance you will be completely lost when you return to the television
In other words: you have to pay attention to the story! Oh my gods, spare us from stories we can't walk out of and return and miss nothing.

Am I on the wrong planet, or what?

Why is Boston 'Terrorism' But Not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine? | Common Dreams

Why is Boston 'Terrorism' But Not Aurora, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Columbine? | Common Dreams:

"Can an act of violence be called 'terrorism' if the motive is unknown?"

TS led me to this article, which raises interesting questions indeed. However, I think it's too easy to get lost in specialized questions like this to the ignorance of larger, more pressing issues.

For example, I'd be more interested in energy being spent establishing the coup d'etat that happened in the US in 1963, and bringing those folks to justice, than in whether or not the Boston guys were "terrorists." "Nothing you can do can help a dead man."

But quibbling keeps people busy and distracts them from considering the really important issues.It's like talk radio. Let them bitch, it drains their energy and misguides their focus.

April 23 News: 75 Years Ago A Steam Engineer Showed Global Warming Was Happening | ThinkProgress

April 23 News: 75 Years Ago A Steam Engineer Showed Global Warming Was Happening | ThinkProgress:

"75 years ago this month, a steam engineer in England named Guy Stewart Callendar used his avid interest in meteorology to publish a landmark study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society linking fossil fuel burning to global warming."

Michigan High School Chooses To Protect Star Basketball Player Instead Of His Rape Victims | ThinkProgress

Michigan High School Chooses To Protect Star Basketball Player Instead Of His Rape Victims | ThinkProgress:

"Unfortunately, that’s a message that students across the country are receiving from their school administrators. Society’s pervasive victim-blaming rape culture has consistently valued sports stars over rape victims — a dynamic that was particularly evident during the events that unfolded in Steubenville, OH earlier this year."

This culture needs to dethrone jocks as citizens with special rights. No athletic scholarships! Brain power over physical power.  Ha ha, joke of the day, fat chance.

Toronto's Muslim Community Led Police To Terror Suspects | ThinkProgress

Toronto's Muslim Community Led Police To Terror Suspects | ThinkProgress:

"A terror plot originating in Canada may not have been prevented, were it not for the intervention of Toronto’s Muslim community flagging a suspect to law enforcement officials."

Bus ride from hell

I usually enjoy riding the bus. Today was an exception.

  • I just missed a bus, so had the longest possible wait for the next.
  • The sun had fooled me and I under-dressed. I frozen my ass off waiting.
  • A worker was using equipment that sounded like a jet warming up. Not a relaxing wait.
  • The bus was crowded, including a screaming baby. Not a pleasant ride.
  • Because of the bus I took, I had the longest possible walk to campus -- and my knee started acting up. Not a pleasant walk.
So I am glad to be in my office and eager for class to start!

Regression #7

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Monday, April 22, 2013


A delightful day, the kind I thank the gods for. I'll take as many of these as I can get. Surely SUN had something to do with it.

Continuing thru episodes of The. Event; the more I see this second time around, the more I admire, especially in its storytelling efficiency. These writers really know what to leave out. So many, even the pros, don't.

Sun all week, they say. Now that would be something.

A good day on the Titanic really is living in the moment.

Regression #6

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Wiggle room

I think an important measure of freedom in a society is how much wiggle room an individual has in his or her pursuit of happiness. What's changed in my lifetime is the environment in which wiggling, choices, can happen. The environment gets more defined by fewer people, it seems to me. Main Streets used to look very different across the country. Now they look more and more alike, no matter where you are. For those seeking variety in food, architecture, movie houses, less wiggle room.

The sun!

Sure nice to see that rarest of Portland features, the SUN, bringing warmth (relatively speaking) to the neighborhood today. Wednesday may push 80, which is where my comfort zone begins.

Sketch found a patch of sunshine on the floor - my sun bro.

Regression #5

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Miranda rights

I don't understand why liberals get bent out of shape when a terrorist isn't read his Miranda rights immediately. What he says can't be used in court, so what's the big deal? He was in a firefight with police - reason enough to question him. Public safety is at risk here. An immediate issue, and the courts won't use the information, so what's the big deal? I guess I'm a hopeless case: the left can piss me off as much as the right.

Remember, I'm the guy who believes the Kennedy assassination was a coup d'etat orchestrated by the CIA, not a law and order whacko.

Important fact of the week

David Chan, renowned Chinese food critic in Los Angeles, prefers a fork to chopsticks.

I love it!

Quotation of the day

"What has gone so wrong in our world that a 19-year-old doesn't think twice about killing and maiming people at a peaceful event?" --Dr. Natalie Stavas, Boston doctor and runner

Sunday, April 21, 2013

About my "regressions"

Amazon has a daily free app for the Fire. About once a week the free app interests me and I try it out. So with the drawing app.

Alas, I have no drawing skill whatever. Still, the app was fun, more doodling than drawing in my case.

As I did this interesting questions came to mind. Is there a way to use this for someone like me? With no talent, the less drawn, the better. Kiddy art came to mind. Minimalist art came to mind. What are the fewest lines or strokes required to communicate "tree"? After fiddling, I decided only two, one green, one brown. This is the origin of #1.

With a low bar for craft, I fiddled with a high bar for content or concept. #2 resulted after much fiddling.

And this is where I am now, high concepts rendered in low childlike drawings. A process as mysterious to me as finding poems in my head.


Man, I am glad I got the grunt work prep done yesterday. I still have a couple hours of reading but after my Sunday papers ritual, definitely need a second wind. If I don't get it, can always finish the prep tomorrow. A day of insurance.

London marathon

I taped this. Some might not find a marathon exciting to watch but I do. It is not a race so much as an existential struggle, each runner - whether 1st or 100th in the pack - testing personal limits. I find the drama here considerable as I watch the women finish. I admire these ladies more than some wide receiver or point guard.

Earth Day


A popular response to the question, Why are we attacked?, is that terrorists are jealous of what we have. This strikes me as a simplistic, self-serving and dangerously ignorant reply. Certainly it doesn't apply to Islamic extremists, who regard American culture as Satanic, something sinful. Elimination is purification, a righteous act. I don't see envy in this unfortunate mindset.

Nor do less religiously motivated terrorist acts seem motivated by envy. More, I suggest, attack us for what we do, not what we have. We try to influence political behavior in other countries, particularly those useful to our own interests, and some folks there and elsewhere don't approve - and strongly enough to become violent. I see no element of envy here.

What's dangerous about assuming they envy our freedoms is the way this distracts attention away from the current erosion of those very freedoms and opportunities. It reinforces an American mythology that is less true than it ever was. It makes articulating and correcting the serious problems we face less likely.

It may feel good to chant "USA! USA!" in the face of every crisis, but behind our backs the America being celebrated is changing in ways few of us will like. The rich become richer, the poor become poorer. An old, old story, as Norman Brown might say.

And maybe, finally, an irrelevant story, if Nature gets angry enough.

Author Dennis Lehane: Boston Will Not Be Defeated | Here & Now

Author Dennis Lehane: Boston Will Not Be Defeated | Here & Now:

"“If you think you’re going to change the culture here, you really picked the wrong town.”"

I admire and envy this strong sense of place, of home. As a Navy brat, often moving, I never got it. The best I did was Pasadena, which still feels more like home to me than Portland, where I've lived for over 30 years.

Early in my career, writing plays set in small Oregon towns, something new, I was praised as "an Oregon playwright" and it was assumed I was born and raised here, so authentic were my characters and stories. Nope. I'm a good observer. I finally set the matter straight in an essay called Confessions of an Oregon Playwright, which was commissioned by a magazine and later anthologized.

As an old man, I miss a strong sense of home -- and of living far from the only two places that really felt that way to me, Pasadena and the southern Utah desert, with its Goosenecks of the San Juan River, I have a vague feeling I'm being punished for something.

Since apparently I'm going to die here, I hope it's during one of the 14 days of the year when it's warm. I don't want to die in the rain.

Regression #4

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lousy Friday --> Productive Saturday

Worked all morning on prep and have work online for Tues. class. Tomorrow I have 4 advanced student scripts to look at. In good shape, despite Fri, which sucked.

Regression #3

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Regression #2

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Slippery slope

Although the Mariners are still 3rd, they are only a game out of last place.

Regression #1

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In the morning Chronicle

Two stories of special note:
--disturbing story on avalanche of inaccurate news coming from social media during Boston manhunt, much of it picked up by traditional media. Never in history has so much misinformation been so widely distributed so quickly. Not a good trend in a culture that prefers easy answers to complicated facts.
--long story on Cal-Stanford 119th dual track meet, one of only four left in country with history of at least 75 years. (UCLA-USC is another.) I loved these in my college track days. Cal Tech v. Harvey Mudd! These have become too inefficient in our era of corporate sports. Another high value becoming lost in our emerging suicidal culture.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Out of rhythm

Hate days like this. Out of rhythm all day long. Need to get lots of school work done tomorrow. Should have spent the day at my office. Today sucked.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fiddling around, or A portrait of the old man as a child

Made with Drawing Pad - http://drawingpadapp.com

Comfort in the afternoon

A terrific class again. Came home starving, having only a morning maple bar all day. Felt like breakfast, so made my usual comfort meal of milk toast, scrapple and eggs. Can anything give more comfort?

Welcome · Digital Public Library of America

Welcome · Digital Public Library of America:

Not much to it at this stage.

Battery low? Give your mobile some water

Battery low? Give your mobile some water:

"A power source for your mobile phone can now be as close as the nearest tap, stream, or even a puddle, with the world's first water-activated charging device."

Astrophysicists find five-planet system with most Earth-like exoplanet yet

Astrophysicists find five-planet system with most Earth-like exoplanet yet:

What Woody Wrote by Larry McMurtry | The New York Review of Books

What Woody Wrote by Larry McMurtry | The New York Review of Books:

McMurtry reviews the early "lost novel" of Guthrie.
His genius was song, and House of Earth is a bit of an oddity, though certainly a readable one. It is the apprentice work of a man who became great in his real calling, his craft, his sullen art, as the poet Dylan Thomas would say. Are we glad to have it? Sure. Would we trade any of the best songs for it? No way.

Tumblr CEO David Karp says at least 70 users have turned blogging into book deals | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe

Tumblr CEO David Karp says at least 70 users have turned blogging into book deals | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

"Occasional drinking"

My most outrageous "occasional drinking" story happened in the army. I had "a beer" on leave in Copenhagen and woke up in an apartment in Hamburg with two college girls. I have no idea.

Quotation of the day

From The Passive Voice:
I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.
Raymond Chandler

Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling 'Shame On You' At Senators | ThinkProgress

Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling 'Shame On You' At Senators | ThinkProgress:

Recent reading

Religious Lies - Religious Truths by Donald Jackson
It is the thesis of this book that we need a Christology that preserves divinity, but one that rejects the claim that this divinity is found only in Jesus of Nazareth.
 Instead of religion acting as a support system for the individual, it has become a suppressor of the individual for the perpetuation of the institution by demanding individual subservience.
 A spirituality that does not provide a source of meaning for humanity does not deserve to survive. That is the reason why organized religion is becoming more and more impotent and irrelevant.
 Edward Albee: A Singular Journey by Mel Gussow
"People should be more interested in a writer's work than in the person of a writer. Writers, in other words, should be heard and not seen. It is very dangerous for a writer to become a public personality; I can think of one American novelist [Ernest Hemingway], recently dead, who became so convinced that he was, in fact, the public image of himself that it did serious damage to his work. And the better the writer, of course, the more interesting his work in comparison to himself."
 If you drink too much, "You're either going to be a nice Irish drunk or you're going to be a monster. I turned into a monster."
 Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse
An artillery battery commander explained, “The ammo kept coming whether or not we had targets for it, so the batteries fired their allotments every opportunity they had, whether there was actually anything to shoot at or not.”
 “There are more civilians killed here per day than VC either by accident or on purpose and that’s just plain murder. I’m not surprised that there are more VC. We make more VC than we kill by the way these people are treated. I won’t go into detail but some of the things that take place would make you ashamed of good old America.”
 The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick
The person who did the most to try to stop that confrontation, Henry Wallace, has been largely lost to history. Few people remember how close Wallace came to getting the vice presidential nomination on that steamy Chicago night in July 1944. What might this country have become had Wallace succeeded Roosevelt in April 1945 instead of Truman? Would atomic bombs still have been used in World War II? Could we have avoided the nuclear arms race and the Cold War? Would civil rights and women’s rights have triumphed in the immediate postwar years? Might colonialism have ended decades earlier and the fruits of science and technology been spread more equitably around the globe? We’ll never know.


Order of colored pages in screenplay revisions.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4 Jesse Stone movies

Tom Selleck plays the Robt Parker creation, an alcoholic police chief fighting his demons. An inconsistent series, to say the least.

What I like:

  • visual storytelling. Especially Sea Change, the only one that focuses on his demons rather than the mystery plot, and the opening five minutes and closing several are gems of visual storytelling.
  • music by Jeff Beal, consistently and appropriately moody through all the films. The most consistent high mark in the series.
  • production design and cinematography. Gorgeous settings.
  • acting, mostly good.
  • dog as Greek chorus. Reminds me of Sketch.
What I dislike:
  • all the scripts except Sea Change, in particular the story lines and plotting. Too over the top.
  • most of all I dislike the inclusion of nymphomaniac women after the chief. Again, far over the top, like the school head who shows up wanting to fuck the chief in a jail cell, after one meeting. Yeah, right.
  • repetition. Suppose to be clever, I think, repeated lines, Selleck's obligatory expressions. Do better.
I like the one mentioned above, couldn't finish another, but got through the other two with adequate entertainment. Overall, a disappointing series. There are more in the series but this is enough.

R.I.P. Pat Summerall

Excellent old school sportscaster. Understated delivery, great knowledge.

Today's young sportscasters, who sound like drunken frat loudmouths, could learn much from him. But won't.

Quotation of the day

"Murder is misdirected suicide."
--Norman O. Brown


Police go out of their way to say violent act A here is not connected to violent act B over there. This is ridiculous. Look at it with a greater, less literal overview.

A common spiritual sickness and methology of power link varied and distant acts of violence in this country. They continue and will continue because this smog of disease is never addressed. These things don't happen in a vacuum.

Stumbling through the dark

Sketch is a clock. At 4 a.m., give or take, he gets me up. I feed him, after which I take him outside. Back inside, he runs back to bed on the bedroom chair, and I look at the morning SF Chronicle on my Fire.

An hour or so later, I'm ready to grab a few more winks myself. I turn off the kitchen light. And the adventure begins.

The house is pitch dark. I have a simple task, to walk from the kitchen to the bedroom, something I've done a zillion times. Why do I hesitate?

Because I know this is a dangerous journey. I always bump into furniture. Always. This has become a metaphor for my old age, stumbling through a familiar landscape, lost anyway, bumping into things, expecting to fall at any minute.


3rd of 5 ... 3 games under .500 ... 5 games out ... small improvement so far.

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Made with Drawing Pad - http://drawingpadapp.com

This is an amazing Fire app. Too bad I can't draw.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ah youth!

H grandson and girlfriend on hitchhiking adventure. Sudden arrival. Showers and laundry. Meals. Gave them tent and sleeping bags. Bon voyage!

Killer Touchscreen | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe

Killer Touchscreen | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

This is not something I have a use for, I suppose, but it sure looks cool.

The joy of teaching

Today was one of those teaching days that was great fun because so many students were engaged. We were discussing their story ideas, one by one, and will continue Thursday since we didn't finish, the discussion got so involved. Active, energetic, constructive = fun.

2013 Pulitzer Prizes for Letters, Drama and Music - NYTimes.com

2013 Pulitzer Prizes for Letters, Drama and Music - NYTimes.com:

Sharon Olds for poetry, well deserved.

Small Steps

My day is complete and worthwhile if I can take a few small steps during the day, such as:
--write a poem that's halfway decent
--make a good meal
--get through to a student
--encourage H on her recovery
--learn something new
--do necessary chores
--scratch Sketch

It doesn't take much.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The world we live in

Listening to news on Fire, coverage of Boston Marathon explosions. Terrorists.

For some reason as soon as I learned about this, two titles popped into my head, both written over half a century ago.

--The True Believer by Eric Hoffer (the longshoreman philosopher), about fanatics and their dangerous consequences;
--The Quiet American by Graham Greene, about the passionate do-gooder, in this case an American "saving" Vietnam from communism.

Each speaks about the mental climates in which horrors like this thrive. Sadly, despite all the security for a major event, a number of bombs were planted. Security failed.

This is the world we live in.

Ready to roll

Student work online, ready for class tomorrow. The rest of the day is my own.

Death Cafe: Holding your own Death Cafe

Death Cafe: Holding your own Death Cafe:

"Death Cafe is a 'social franchise' and people working with us and using the Death Cafe name have signed up to our principles. These are that our conversations about death are offered
--On a not for profit basis, though to be sustainable we try to cover expenses through donations and fundraising
--In an accessible, respectful and confidential space, free of discrimination, where people can express their views safely
--With no intention of leading participants towards any particular conclusion, product or course of action
--Alongside refreshing drinks and nourishing food – and cake!"

I worry a bit about number three ... some facilitators also have businesses or consulting services related to these issues. Will be interesting.

Death Cafes Grow As Places To Discuss, Learn About End Of Life

Death Cafes Grow As Places To Discuss, Learn About End Of Life:

Death Cafe

Death Cafe:

The central website.

PDX Death Cafe | Facebook

PDX Death Cafe | Facebook:

"PDX Death Cafe is an opportunity to come together in Portland, Oregon in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea and eat delicious cake."

I just learned about this European movement, which has been spreading to the U.S. In fact, I was going to start a chapter here but someone beat me to it. I will be at this first meeting. This is a major issue with me.

Film magic

Watched most of a second Stone TV movie and quit. Ordinary, none of the magic, especially visual magic, of the other. Brooding about those differences and what they suggest about film storytelling.

Later. Both movies had the same director, Robert Harmon. Very different kinds of stories, which is part of it. Brooding about magic v. ordinary. The magical film much more moody, visual, quiet, reflective. Brahms soundtrack (same composer, too). Fascinating difference. Magic v.ordinary. Going to watch best one again.

Belly attack

To bed early as usual but woken a couple hours later with a painful upset stomach. Time to kill, watched Sea Change, a Jesse Stone TV movie, and loved it, a triumph of style over narrative, visual and contemplative, great production design, and in this regard different from the usual detective story. Gorgeous locations, Brahms music track. I think I paid more attention on the Fire, like reading a novel. Now will watch others to see if it's the series or the director or ... Some of the best storytelling moods I've seen on film.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Grunt work

Finished the grunt work prepping student work to put online. I actually enjoy it. Didn't go to all this trouble when my own writing was the primary focus, a writer who taught. Now I'm a teacher who writes and am always trying new things to help my students.

Next chore, uploading it all. Tomorrow I think.

Self-Publishing Grabs Huge Market Share From Traditional Publishers | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe

Self-Publishing Grabs Huge Market Share From Traditional Publishers | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

"Now we can start putting the pieces together. When we factor in the respective market share of Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and Kobo), that leads to the following estimate (which might be conservative): self-publishers have captured 25% of the US e-book market."

A remarkable stat.

Quotation of the day

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Philip K. Dick

I quit

I was excited last fall when I learned about the new series Nashville. I liked the country music backdrop and the old v. new dramatic premise. And the screenwriter of Thelma & Louise was in charge. Looked like a winner to me.

And so it was at first. But slowly music business drama got replaced by who's sleeping with whom soap opera melodrama, and last night I couldn't take it any longer, I quit in the middle of the story. I felt like throwing the TV across the room.

Pop culture wins again.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New Yorker: 'Has Obama Already Given Up On Climate Change?' | ThinkProgress

New Yorker: 'Has Obama Already Given Up On Climate Change?' | ThinkProgress:


Now and again I review the cyber-stack of books I want to read and am overwhelmed. I can't possibly live long enough to read them all - and the list grows weekly. Ah, me ...

Good and bad news

Mariners already four and a half back, two games under five hundred.

But not in last place. Third of five.

Right app for right job

I have a powerful word processing program loaded on my Fire. But often I need a quicker note taking app and have tried a variety of them.

Found one perfect for my needs, called Sticky Note, the daily free app a week or so ago. What I like especially is easy mailing function, which lets me post to either of my blogs with a couple taps.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A great irony

Never before in history has it been easier for an American to express an opinion. On radio shows, via comments to news and opinions online, even through our own blogs, websites and self-published books, via videos at YouTube and our own online radio stations, we have endless opportunities to express ourselves. Freedom of speech is alive and well.

At the same time, never have our opinions been so irrelevant. At every moment of life, we are given choices between options defined by corporations. The people we vote for, the foods we eat, the places we live, the entertainment we see, everything is dependent on earlier decisions than ours. One can still wiggle free from some of this consumer enslavement but it takes great effort.

It's as if all this was planned. Let's let them bitch as much as they want. It defuses their energy. In the meantime we'll give them what we decide they need.

Democracy is not  alive  and well at all.

Baseball and drama

For me no sporting event gets more exciting than baseball on the radio. I think this is because of the small units of game progression, pitch by pitch, moment by moment, each unit clear conflict, batter against pitcher, each and every moment a potential game changer. A perfect example is the Giants-Cubs game that just ended.

Top of the 9th, Giants up and behind 2-1. They get runners on first and third, two outs. Then two strikes. Another and it's over. But a long single clears the bases, Giants take a 3-2 lead. What a comeback!

Bottom of the 9th. First pitch, a home run, tie game! And Cubs go on to score another and win. What a comeback!

To me all this is much more exciting on radio than on TV. That's why I love my app, all games are available to me from either team's announcer.

Time to get back to scrapple.

Relaxing routine

Making a new batch of scrapple this morning and listening to the Giants game via my Fire app. What can be more mellow than this?

H has an art opening, I'll go to the last hour of the reception tonight.

First look at student work, the heavy work tomorrow.

Fresh scrapple for breakfast tomorrow!

Extraordinary entertainment

If you have a Kindle Fire or other tablet, go to the video area and do a search for BBC. You'll get a long list of series, miniseries and films, more fine entertainment than you have time to watch. If you subscribe to Amazon Prime,
most of it is free. Who needs American TV (except for some sports)?


When I awoke this morning, I seemed to be auditioning for the Stage Manager in Our Town. Help! I never could memorize all those lines. A director tried to talk me into reading for the father in Long Day's Journey once. I had a rare moment of good sense and turned him down.

I'm not a bad actor but I'm not a good one either. I'd be a better radio actor, reading. Unseen. My best performance memories are from my Guthrie show. I actually have no great "acting" memories. I remember a few major screwups I did, one in a play I wrote! Let's change the subject.

Track town

Eugene will host the 2016 Olympic trials. I really should go down there to watch if I'm still among the mobile living.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Old Mariners?

The spring promise of a "new" Mariners is fading. Under 500, 2 game losing streak, behind tonight even with Hernandez pitching, who hasn't looked like his best self ... but it's a very long season, just begun.

Quotation of the day

"I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them." --Jack London

Food for thought

The last time I had breakfast with Mark, he said something that has been bouncing around in my brain ever since: "The only place left for me is the road."

I can dig it, both literally and as metaphor. Hmm. Hmm. (Hmm).

Good news

There are some admirable folks doing admirable jobs on this sinking ship, and among them are the organic farmers profiled in the doc film Fresh. Folks worth meeting.

Meanwhile resident genius Steven Hawking says our survival depends on colonizing other planets. Readers of this blog have been hearing this for years.

The news from SF

In the morning Chronicle:
--Obama is the first Demo Pres in history to propose Soc Sec cuts. SF Dems are furious.
--German jazz singer opening The Bukowski Project, putting his poems to music.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


You think climate change is causing problems? Wait until global water shortages and privatization move to the front burner. Check out the documentary film Blue Gold.

Quack comfort

H has a friend who has been supplying us with home raised eggs, both chicken and duck. The duck eggs are very large with very hard shells.

Thus a variation on my comfort breakfast: milk toast, scrapple, one duck egg. A Nike special. Quack, quack.

Major contrast ...

... between Conn.'s class in winning and Baylor's earlier lack of class in losing. Poetic justice on the bball court.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


Conn. recovered, ended with talented reserves, young and deep team.


Conn. very sloppy in 3Q but L not playing well enough to take advantage of it.

Breanna Stewart rocks!

Conn. demolished L. in first half. Tough comeback...will need barrage of threes. I hope Conn. breaks 100 pts. Man, they are nice to watch ... and so young! A dynasty in the making?


Women's final in an hour. I expect an easy victory for Conn. but who knows? Listening to Yankees on Fire. Still digging the woman NYer broadcaster.

Some reading I need to do tomorrow. Show a doc Thurs, an easy week.

Ordered textbooks for fall.

Spring practice

I loved my one and only spring football practice - until I got injured. This was at Cal Tech in the spring of 1958. I'd been the star of the Freshman team as T-QB but ha ha the Varsity used the single wing (still!). Coach had me trying for both Tailback and QB, which in single wing is a blocking back. But you get to call the signals! Looked like I was going to be first string QB when I hurt my knee. Nothing serious but it got me thinking and before Xmas, playing no football, I had decided to transfer to Cal Berkeley, for which I got a scholarship. I soon gave it up, dropped out of school, became a street person - and joined the army. My recruiter decided to fill a quota and make me a spy. I owe him a world of thanks.


What a catastrophe it's become...and you know it will get worse indefinitely. I'll probably pass before the real shit hits the fan.

Old dog, new tricks

Great class ... did 2 writing exercises new to me, worked very well, so why did it take 15 years to try them?

Oregon May Lead The Way On Automatic Voter Registration | ThinkProgress

Oregon May Lead The Way On Automatic Voter Registration | ThinkProgress:

"Oregon may soon begin what is arguably the most innovative, progressive voting effort in the nation: automatic voter registration."

Rape Culture Claims Another Victim: Teen Ends Life After Photo Of Her Alleged Gang Rape Goes Viral | ThinkProgress

Rape Culture Claims Another Victim: Teen Ends Life After Photo Of Her Alleged Gang Rape Goes Viral | ThinkProgress:

Progress in gender equality and relations? What progress? Seems to me that "rape culture" is stronger than it was half a century ago, despite -- or because of? -- greater media attention. Appalling.

Obama’s Cultural Transformation Of America « The Dish

Obama’s Cultural Transformation Of America « The Dish:

"This is a cultural revolution. He did not create it. He organized it. And epitomized it. We are now looking very closely at various political, tactical moments – the budget, entitlement reform, taxes – exacerbated by the new instant and universal media. What we are missing is the strategic cultural revolution that has been occurring all the time, and that he has very carefully guided.

And he is quite happy for us to miss it. Because that stirs up less resistance. But the change goes on …"

Andrew Sullivan, a gay conservative, is one of Obama's more enthusiastic supporters. Interesting.

Mark A. Ashwill: The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War: Revising the Past, Revisiting the Lies

Mark A. Ashwill: The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War: Revising the Past, Revisiting the Lies:

 "Instead of perpetuating the national myth that the "Vietnam War" was a grand and noble cause for which 58,000 patriots "sacrificed all they had and all they would ever know," why not admit, once and for all, what the late Stanley Karnow, journalist and historian, told Stanley McChrystal, then Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, in a brief telephone conversation when he asked Karnow if there was anything "we" (Americans) learned in Vietnam that "we" can use in Afghanistan? Karnow's reply: What we learned is we never should have been there in the first place."

"When will we ever learn?" Pete Seeger used to sing. Apparently ... never.

Howard Steven Friedman: American Values at Rutgers

Howard Steven Friedman: American Values at Rutgers:

"Is it nature or nurture that is driving our increasingly short attention spans and need for distractions? Why are political messages dumbed down to soundbites? Where is the space for intelligent discourse in America? Where is the demand for this discourse?"

Daily Kos: Corporate jets and giant pensions: Top CEOs get perks equal to income of seven average families

Daily Kos: Corporate jets and giant pensions: Top CEOs get perks equal to income of seven average families:

Hints of Human Language Heard in Lip-Smacking Monkey Talk | Wired Science | Wired.com

Hints of Human Language Heard in Lip-Smacking Monkey Talk | Wired Science | Wired.com:

McKibben: 'The Essential Cowardice Of Too Many Democrats Is Becoming An Ever More Fundamental Problem' | ThinkProgress

McKibben: 'The Essential Cowardice Of Too Many Democrats Is Becoming An Ever More Fundamental Problem' | ThinkProgress:

"A few weeks ago, Time magazine called the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring some of the dirtiest energy on the planet from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast the “Selma and Stonewall” of the climate movement."

Popular writers

From The Passive Voice:
We are not starving artists trying to give something eternal to the world born out of blood, sweat and tears, hoping that we can eke out a modest living while receiving scant praise from obscure academic journals. No, we’re trying to make a buck any way we can. And the last time I checked, writing is way better than cleaning out the grease traps at McDonald’s.
What's interesting about this comment is that when I was in grad school, this would have been considered the confession of a hack and "starving artists" were not objects of ridicule but of admiration, writers following a calling, rather like priests. Etc etc etc.

But already the pendulum was moving. At a writer's conference at the Univ of Colorado in the early 1970s, I witnessed something that shocked me: at a reading of a literary writer, two pop writers (both well known but I won't mention names) sat in the front row and midway through the reading started blowing bubbles at the literary writer. I was appalled at this childish joke and left.

Interestingly enough -- serendipity again -- so did Marilyn Thompson, later Marilyn Krysl (maiden name), a gifted poet and short story writer, and discovering we were leaving together, discovering we both lived in Eugene, we began a long friendship, including a period when we exchanged long letters as literary pen pals.
Marilyn Krysl’s work has appeared in
The Atlantic, The Nation, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best American Short Stories 2000 and O. Henry Prize Stories.Warscape With Lovers won the Cleveland State Poetry Prize 1997, and her collection of short fiction, Dinner with Osama, won Foreword Magazine’s 2008 Book of the Year Bronze Medal.
Marilyn Krysl website.

Pull the shades

Baseball perk

I just noticed my radio baseball app includes a video game of the day. Nice. I prefer baseball on radio actually but it's something I might check out now and again.

Cracking me up

Sketch woke me up to go pee. Good dog. He has a routine when he's done that always cracks me up: instead of heading straight for the door to come in, he has to make a big arc around the circumference of our parking area. I find his habit amusing and endearing.

Sketch went back to bed. I'm wide awake. Hopefully not for long.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Final Fours

No interest in the men's final tonight. However, will watch the women tomorrow, rooting for Connecticut.

Baseball rules now but the Kentucky Derby is only weeks away. 54 years ago I walked the streets of Louisville on Derby day, broke and hungry, ready to head west in the middle of my first hitch-hiking adventure. In 3 months I'd be in the Army Security Agency!

Question of the day

Will I ever see a perfect day in the 90s again?

Gray Monday

Low energy today. A few things I wanted to do, nothing urgent. Started 2nd season of Wish Me Luck, still very impressed. Also perks interest to learn more about occupied France. Talk about tough times. I try to imagine living in an occupied Portland.

Yankees on the radio, background. Love the sound of baseball on the radio.

Glad my week is relatively easy. Still, a bit of energy today would be nice.

'Blue Bloods': Tom Selleck and the cop family drama rule Fridays - latimes.com

'Blue Bloods': Tom Selleck and the cop family drama rule Fridays - latimes.com:

"Despite airing in prime-time's semi-wasteland of Friday night, "Blue Bloods" is now watched by nearly 13 million people, making it one of the most popular programs on network television (even if, with a median age of 62, it also has the oldest audience of any show on the broadcast airwaves). "

I'm one of the old farts who watches this regularly -- and mostly for its family dinner. Yep. This and Nashville are the only two series I watch. I tried Americans but gave up after a month or two. I liked the first season of West Wing, but soon quit in the second.

But the old BBC stuff available on the Fire smokes what we produce. I watch more Fire than TV as a result.

Acclaimed documentary maker Les Blank dies at 77 - SFGate

Acclaimed documentary maker Les Blank dies at 77 - SFGate:

"Blank's 42 films earned him a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute.

"I think he's a national treasure," filmmaker Taylor Hackford, president of the Directors Guild of America, told the New York Times. "Although his films are not well known at the moment, they'll take their place""

Pay phones? What are those? | SFGate Blog | an SFGate.com blog

Pay phones? What are those? | SFGate Blog | an SFGate.com blog:

"A full generation has now come of age never having had to use a pay phone — but that doesn’t mean the street-corner descendants of Clark Kent’s changing room are all gone.

There are, in fact, still 300,000 phone booths left in America, including a couple of hundred in San Francisco. "

Excuses, excuses

This morning's SF Chronicle is full of excuses for Cal women blowing a 10 pt halftime lead to lose its semifinal to Louisville. I won't buy it. This is the same team that blew this lead in less than a minute by committing consecutive 3 pt fouls. This is the team that misses free throws down the stretch. This is the most un-thinking bball team I've ever seen. Their coach excuses them, calling them scrappy. Bad coaching. They are stupid, their own worst enemy. They've been damn lucky.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Ah, it takes so little to please me. This morning, for example:
--kitchen chores. Prep for dinner, my amazing creation I call Korean Paella. Also marinading buffalo steaks for later in the week.
--baseball! Yankees game on Fire radio as I wait for Mariners game to begin soon. Yankees has a female color announcer, rare, great NY accent, love it.
--women's Final 4 this afternoon. Should root for Cal but I hate their style of play.
--new episode of Wish Me Luck to watch any time. What a great drama! Too bad we seldom get something this good in the U.S.
--in good shape for school week, no stress. Stress is my great enemy.
--pleased with present writing mode, poems coming often at other blog, constructive brooding on Brinkley and CJ.
--happy camper! Like dancing on the Titanic.

Contrasts in the work force

Uplifting and downlifting stories in my morning papers. In the SF Chronicle, a story about an amazing family. The couple both at Stanford, successful scientists and professors; three grown daughters, all successful in their own right in high tech and business. The American Dream at work.

In the LA Times, a story of a 40ish woman who has worked at an envelope factory since she was 19, about how worse the job has become over the years, higher quotas, loss of perks, loss of sense of community work force. American Reality at work.

Our class-driven society.

Facts and figures

H gets 3 or 4 phone calls a day. I get 3 or 4 phone calls a year.


p.s. You don't hear me complaining!

American disconnection

One of the horrors in our time is the disconnection between most Americans and the wars we pay for. With a volunteer army, led by poor youth unable to find jobs, the circle of civilians directly affected by war is small.

I was reminded of this last night while watching Wish Me Luck, the outstanding BBC series from the 80s, a drama set during WWII. Then everyone was affected by war in all activities of life. So were we after Pearl Harbor. The unifying potential of 9/11 was soon buried in the lies of the Bush team, off on their own passionate agenda, the people be damned. Today politicians can get away with murder (sometimes literally) because our wars affect so few of us in visceral ways.

This can be fixed by a universal draft for both men and women. Once the prom queen starts getting shot at, many will take a different perspective on the wisdom of our wars. We have to get reconnected to the actions we pay for. It's time to take responsibility - and if we don't approve, take measures to stop it.

Bring on the draft! It's exactly what the peace movement needs.

Another remarkable app

Just checked out Splashtop 2, an app for the Fire that accesses my netbook computer downstairs from the Fire - I run my computer from the tablet. Would have used this often in my busier days, I think. Remarkable and convenient. Need to test if I can access it from the university. Ah, technology!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Not for me

Checked out the Final Four but there's too much hype, spelled bullshit, for me. I'll watch the Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial instead.

Mother of all horrors

Accused of child abuse: A family's story | Life and style | The Guardian:

 "It's a Tuesday like any other. Then, in the afternoon, there's a knock at the door. The dog starts barking and wakes our 12-week-old baby, Sam. My partner, Keiron, looks out of the upstairs window to see two women at the front door. We assume they are Jehovah's Witnesses and Keiron leans out, saying he can't come down. Then everything changes.

The women are police. They work in child protection services. Keiron, Sam and I go downstairs to find out what's going on. They tell us to sit down and ask Keiron if he knows why they are here. He says no. Then they tell us an allegation about a sex offence made by a child at the nursery where he works.

My stomach turns to concrete. I have no shadow of doubt that this is a horrible mistake. I hold Sam in disbelief, calculating all the ways this is going to mess up our lives."

This is the kind of story that ties my stomach into knots. That makes me want to throw things.


And this horror happens more often than you think. Institutions would rather arrest an innocent man than let a guilty man slip through the cracks. Presumed innocence is one of our greatest myths.

By the gods, this story makes me angry!

Captain Milkshake

My friend and breakfast partner Mark was the executive producer of the 1970 film Captain Milkshake, called a cult classic at YouTube. I saw it for the first time yesterday.

This is very much a movie of its time and place, and it's easy to see how it could become "a cult classic." It captures the feeling of the sixties in images and music, with a storyline that gets overshadowed by the film's atmosphere. The political rhetoric in the film is dated today but at the time would have been shocking to some audiences.

Mark's relationship to Milkshake is probably like mine to Christmas at the Juniper Tavern: both happened long ago, we've done many many things since, but this is what some folks remember us for, if they remember us at all.

I'm glad I finally got to see it. Thanks for the VHS loan, Mark.

Link to original trailer.


Promo for revival:

Friday, April 05, 2013

Macademia nuts

H bought the worst m nuts I ever tasted, mushy and tasteless. I used to get a case every Xmas from my favorite teacher, who had retired in Hawaii. I know these nuts.

Another great feature

Just realized an app I have to show me what's playing at the movie theaters in town also lets me see the trailer. Cool.

This is academia?

Every time I glance at the news, some university is in lockdown because of gunfire.


Still tired for some reason. Yet a productive day so far. Hanging in.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


Very busy day, very productive. Came home pooped. Expect to relax tomorrow.

The Five Best Things Roger Ebert Said About Politics | ThinkProgress

The Five Best Things Roger Ebert Said About Politics | ThinkProgress:


One hell of a morning!

Quite a mindful and energetic morning here at my university office, getting things done, writing poems, revisiting my design for a hyperdrama theater, which I think is just short of brilliant (no modesty here) ... all in all, being pretty damn intellectually active for an old fart! But now to rest for an hour ha ha -- I have a class to teach! I can't run intellectual marathons any more.

Quotation of the day

From The Passive Voice:
I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.
Thomas Jefferson

Obama's Climate Hypocrisy: We Need People In DC 'Willing To Speak Truth To Power ... To Take Some Risks Politically' | ThinkProgress

Obama's Climate Hypocrisy: We Need People In DC 'Willing To Speak Truth To Power ... To Take Some Risks Politically' | ThinkProgress:

"Apparently the President is unaware that it was his own White House that shut down any serious talk of climate change by his Administration, by environmental groups, and even by Congress — see “Team Obama Launched The Inane Strategy Of Downplaying Climate Change Back In March 2009.”"

The Conspiracy to Kill MLK: Not a Theory But a Fact | Common Dreams

The Conspiracy to Kill MLK: Not a Theory But a Fact | Common Dreams:

"So far, no one has gone into court to challenge the verdict on the King assassination.

Yet the version of history most Americans know is very different because it has been shaped much more by the executive than the judicial branch. Right after the jury handed down its verdict, the federal government’s Department of Justice went into high gear, sparing no effort to try to disprove the version of the facts that the jury endorsed -- not in a court of law but in the “court” of public opinion.

The government’s effort was immensely successful. Very few Americans are aware the trial ever happened, much less that the jury was convinced of a conspiracy involving the federal government."

2 blogs working out

TS' suggestion a while back that I keep this blog going even as I started a new one seems to be working out. So I'll stay in this mode until I get tired of it, I guess. I seem to be posting my new poems over yonder and doing the more daily grunt stuff here. Hmm. At any rate, just think, two for the non-price of one!

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's Stories : The New Yorker

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's Stories : The New Yorker:


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Kindle 3

This morn I was sitting outside at Starbucks while H was at PT. Reading on my original K. Perhaps its best feature is its screen... no glare... easy to read outside in sunshine, which is damn near impossible on the Fire. I also prefer typing on the K3, which I believe is called the K Keyboard now. Point is, great to have both and both get used.


A low key day, just the way I like it. Take H to PT, wait at nearby Starbucks. Home to do taxes. Update class roster. If it warms up, a little yard work. Day ends with Mariners game.

Progressive fetish

What's with the Huffington Post's obsession with boobs? For a supposedly progressive cyber-rag, run by a woman no less, it sure gives a lot of space to this female celebrity or another falling out of her dress. Does any publication in America have more headlines about "side boobs"?


In the news today, an unexploded WWII bomb was found near the Berlin train station. Reminds me of being in Frankfurt in 1960, a young soldier, and seeing corners still filled with the rubble of bombed out buildings. And later, in the bars, meeting Germans who were unreformed Nazis. One compared world wars to our American World Series: yes. we'd won the first 2 but it was best of 7, and his grin sent chills down my naive American spine.

A linguist in our outfit had put several Hitler speeches to memory in German. Reciting them was always good for free beer for the lot of us from the local farmers. M.A.S.H. and Catch-22, and my own Baumholder 1961 for that matter, barely touch the dark absurd surface of military life.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

You must remember this

Mariners first out of the gate, their 2-0 start the best in baseball. They come out of the best spring ball in franchise history. Is this the year they climb out of last place?

Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion

Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion:

Oregon track & field rundown: There are Ducks everywhere you look on the NCAA Divison I season bests lists | OregonLive.com

Oregon track & field rundown: There are Ducks everywhere you look on the NCAA Divison I season bests lists | OregonLive.com:


Teaching is a lot like acting: same nervous stomach before I go on stage, same impatience for the damn performance to begin. The last hour is always the toughest. And the same challenge: maybe this is the time I can get it "completely right." Been trying long enough ha ha.

Big Sky Conference - 2013 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship

Big Sky Conference - 2013 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship:

"The 2013 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship will be held May 8-11 by Portland State. The meet will be held at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.  More information will be available as the championship gets closer."

I'd better mark this on my calendar. Sports, old school.

UCLA humor

Yesterday a Bruins alumni blog had a breaking news alert: the AD has been fired! Boy, was I excited! It's about time! Then the link went to Wikipedia on April Fool's Day. They caught me.

This is no 'golden age' of journalism. These are the news media end times | Bob Garfield | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

This is no 'golden age' of journalism. These are the news media end times | Bob Garfield | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:

"Here's all you need to know. Lucrative classified advertising has disappeared, thanks to Craigslist, and display advertising rates online are vanishingly low. That's thanks to the pesky law of supply and demand: there's an infinite amount of online content, and therefore an infinite amount of advertising inventory, and therefore prices are driven inexorably downward.

The resulting revenue can't sustain robust news organizations. The revenue can't even sustain feeble news organizations.

Which means a lot of smart, desperate people are smartly, desperately seeking cash elsewhere. To date, little good has come of this."

Watching the Beats grow old - Salon.com

Watching the Beats grow old - Salon.com:

Best Places To Retire: 10 Most Relaxing U.S. Cities To Enjoy Your Golden Years (PHOTOS)

Best Places To Retire: 10 Most Relaxing U.S. Cities To Enjoy Your Golden Years (PHOTOS):

Portland made the list.

And now a word from our sponsor ...

Early to the office

Grunt work prep, figured I might as well do it here. And two advantages to coming in early: I got a convenient parking place, and I got a maple bar! In fact, I bought two, one for my office mate.

Now to the grunt work ...

Monday, April 01, 2013

Not impressed

Cal women win in OT, off to Final Four - the sloppiest, most mentally undisciplined "winning team" I've ever watched. Amazing good fortune.

Nice feature

In the baseball app you can choose which broadcast, home team or visitor, you want to listen to. While listening you can watch play by play of all games on a master scoreboard. More features than I'll use, in fact. I just want a convenient way to follow the Mariners all season.


Some new art by Terry Simons at Round Bend Press. I like this one much.

Lovely email

Nice checking-in note from A., a favorite student from the past, Saudi woman, talented and focused, who has done well for herself. Wrote a great thesis script. Lovely surprise to hear from her.

Flying colors

Baseball app is spectacular ... every game on radio a click away. However, Fire outside gets too much glare, the reader not (diff kind of screen).

Reading baseball books, religion books. More later.

Grunt work prep to do. Turned chilly, not yard work weather for the misplaced desert rat.

Testing the baseball app

Big test today of my Fire baseball app. Looked good last night as I visited Houston game. Today Yankees and Red Sox in morn, Mariners eve. This might be even better than MM app.