Saturday, August 31, 2013


Diverse entertainment

A fun day - and my best 2 games are tonight. But already moments of ...

*drama...Boston College on the radio
*class...Notre Dame looking like, playing like, a first rate football team
*humor...Nike U showing up for a Wagnerian opera

Saturday college football.

Hypertext redux

"Choose Your Own Adventure" Series Hopes to Relaunch for iPad

This is a natural. Will hypertext fiction and hyperdrama get similar boosts?

Wagner in Eugene

Nike celebrating its mismatch in white Wagnerian bird suits. Quite a sight.

Thank the gods for the university track team and the respect it earns!

Slap on the dick

India Gang Rape Conviction Angers Many As Delhi Teen Sentenced To 3 Years In Juvenile Detention

Iced coffee

Tastes unusually good this morning ... Starbucks breakfast blend.

BC announcer has personality ... on sack, "He's a dead man" ... on long run, "See you later" ... I'll listen to more of him this fall. In fact, I may choose teams I follow on radio by entertainment of announcer. And no jerks! Too goddamn many jerks in sports.

Having a ball this morning.


The line between fiction and fic has never been blurrier

A lot


YOU CAN multi-task in the football radio app. Makes all the difference. This is great.

Football on radio

Enjoying app ... everything depends on announcers ... small schools may lack here ... so far today, enjoying Boston College voices, game.

Art and community

Going solo: is theatre best enjoyed alone?

Beckett and chess

Samuel Beckett's obsession with chess: how the game influenced his work

Dylan the artist

Bob Dylan's portraits capture the poet's unique vision

Interesting idea

Should climate change be added to the civil rights agenda?

Can you blame them?

Nearly one in five scientists thinking of leaving the U.S. in search of better funding

Loss of Eden

Activist Warns: "Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over"

Strange political party

The conservative crackup: How the Republican Party lost its mind

Good timing

Just pre-ordered a new book published Sept 3, Fourth and Long: the Fight for the Soul of College Football. Eager reading ahead. Also a bio of Salinger soon. A fall of interesting books. May I add mine?


Will O act alone? Alas, it wouldn't surprise me. He has no balls against Congress, now this. A complicated man.

Another way to stir the pot

Is there a genuine college president left in America? Sue the NFL for development of services ... stop being a free farm system for pro football.

Mean spirited

TS has criticized my prediction of a major Oregon football injury as mean spirited. He is right. I regret making it ... or at least sharing it because the foreboding feeling is there. I don't celebrate it. Part of my general fatalism these days perhaps.

Watching North Dakota State - Kansas State last night, and the Army game earlier, were the greatest football watching fun I've enjoyed in ages. Games out of the BCS limelight have definite advantages. Now that I have audio access to so many games, I may focus on the less hyped teams. N Dak played an old school style of football I really enjoyed. Their 4th Q drive for the upset took over 9 minutes!

If colleges and pros reached a deal where any player enrolling as a freshman was ineligible to turn pro for four years, in school or not, that would improve the present joke a tad. Never happen. Harvard hiring a spendy football coach was the last straw.

Bigger bad prediction than mine: some booster thinks UCLA will pass for over 500 yards tonight! I think they are getting better but overrated, will not end season ranked, but do threaten a couple upsets, maybe one on my bday.

I will listen to a lot of Wash State because I like the crazy coach. But I want Boise State to go undefeated. I like Stanford, too, which may actually have a few students on the team.

Remember Bill McCall, the SF 49er who worked his way through law school playing pro ball? A role model too ignored today. I think he went to Stanford.

Here's for a safe weekend.

War and peace

The White House hasn't had an active voice for peace since JFK, which fact got him assassinated. Pres. Obama bears little resemblance to Sen. Obama but he will be making a great mistake if he bypasses Congress on the Syria issue. I have no idea what makes this man tick but I have a feeling he will act unilaterally, to unexpected consequences. We still suffer from our roots, the City on a Hill syndrome that has us the self-appointed moral authorities of the universe. We continue to legislate our own downfall. Where is the successor to Wayne Morse when we need him?

Friday, August 30, 2013


Enjoying K State game ... every body part that moves aches tonight, making football a useful diversion. Big games for me are tomorrow night.

Call of the wild

Whenever a siren passes, as now, Sketch howls for a few minutes. No stopping him. I've tried joining him, just makes it worse.

A Woman in Berlin

A 2008 German film based on an anonymous 1959 book that shocked Germany. Set in Berlin as the Russians take over in 1945, the film tells the story of a German female journalist and of German women in general in occupied Berlin, dealing with rape, loss of honor, defeat, and the extremes some go to to survive.

First rate, contemporary, hard to watch.

Much to do

...but little energy to do it ... polish #7 ... new CS article ... syllabus update ... downsizing ha ha another summer of failure ... lawn chores ... well, at least there's college football to watch.

Now you see her, now you don't

The interesting thing about H returning home is ... she's seldom home. A homebody she is not.


UCLA will not cover the 20 pt spread and barely win.

Boise State, a 3 pt underdog, will upset Washington in Seattle.

Oregon will not cover the 58 pt spread and win by half that ... and lose an important player to injury, out for the season, changing much.

Lines in the sand

Jim DeMint: Providing Health Care For Seniors And Veterans Is ‘Un-American’ And Grounded In ‘Socialism’ | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Triple tasking

Listening to PSU game on Fire radio ... watching Mariners on Fire gamecast ... watching Rutgers game on muted TV.


Good football radio app that could be better. Easy to use, stations quick to load. Lots of teams but if you follow small schools, may not be there. Can't multi-task, have to stay in app to listen. Good scoreboard. Definitely useful and worth 99 cents, I'm sure I'll use it every week. Wish I could multi-task like I can with music and radio.

So far, so good

Getting some pre-game shows for N Carolina, Kent State, both kicking off in about an hour ... impressive so far, easy to use app. See how it goes. I sure wish Harvard was in the mix, though.

Chris Connor

Listening to The Complete Bethlehem Recordings album. Man, talk about a talented vocalist. Lifts the spirits.


Cruising along in gin rummy...

A new advertising universe

Imagine if advertising were considered an invasion of privacy. Unrequested advertising was illegal. Instead of ads, comprehensive directories were easily accessible ... if you wanted something, easy to find options. If you wanted ads, easy to request them. BUT unsolicited ads were illegal, considered an obscene invasion of privacy and an insult to self-management.

Imagine! A healthy culture!

New poetry book

After editorial feedback and approval, I think I just made the final files, inside and outside. Publication on Oct 26, the day UCLA upsets Oregon.

I like it. I'd pat myself on the back but I'd throw out my arm.

Sick Oregon Man 'Robs' Bank For One Dollar To Get Health Care In Jail | ThinkProgress

Sick Oregon Man 'Robs' Bank For One Dollar To Get Health Care In Jail | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'

Why America Cannot Live without Wars | Common Dreams

Why America Cannot Live without Wars | Common Dreams:

""We are not good at anything else anymore... can't build a decent car or a television, can't give good education to the kids or health care to the old, but we can bomb the shit of out any country..."
– the late George Carlin"

'via Blog this'

Even if Assad Used Chemical Weapons, The West Has No Mandate to Act as a Global Policeman | Common Dreams

Even if Assad Used Chemical Weapons, The West Has No Mandate to Act as a Global Policeman | Common Dreams:

"Let us be clear that the government in Syria, as well as all rebel groups, depends upon a flow of weapons, munitions and money from the outside. Much is reported to come to the rebels from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey; and much is reported to come to the government from Russia and Iran. The supplier countries have leverage."

'via Blog this'

Christa Wessel: Portland's Super DJ

Day time host of classical station ... Wed. night governor of Divaville, vocalists from 1920s to 60s, very special wonderful show ... I listen to her more than to any DJ in town. She has great radio presence.


Sketch just jumped up on the sofa to cuddle beside me. I wonder if he knows how much I like that.


Jeez, next week I have to start thinking about my new syllabus!? What happened to the summer??????

Quotation of the day

"There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people." --Albert Einstein

No rest

H home ... and off bright and early to hang art show, then to Salem for another art chore. Second knee surgery in two weeks.

Thunderstorms! Football!

Almost never hear thunder here ... heard it early a.m. and Sketch beelined under the bed.

First kickoff at 3pm.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Barbaric medicine

Watched doc of Stonewall rebellion and birth of gay rights movement ... and esp struck by barbaric 17th C mindset of mainstream medical profession's view of homosexuality. Makes me wonder ... what mainstream ideas today will seem barbaric in half a century? How we view death?

6 in a row

Mariners have longest losing streak in the majors at the moment ... creamed 12-4 today with the King on the mound. Ah me.

Football tomorrow! The app gets its first test.

Bad vibes

The more I watch MLK50, the more astonished I am that Republicans are nowhere to be seen. What do they think they are accomplishing?

One country?

The absence of Republicans at the Washington mall MLK celebration is striking, as if they want to politicize civil rights. Not a rational strategy in a country becoming non-white. Unless they are drawing battle lines ...

Click image to enlarge.


Leisurely day of house cleaning, laundry, prep for H return. Raining.


Crashing. 5 losses in a row. Last night typical. Up in tie game, bottom of 9th, get 2 on, no outs ... and can't deliver. Top of 10th, Rangers have runner on 3rd, 2 out. Batter strikes out...but before he does, Balk! brings home what will be winning run. Terrible.

New app

Successful test of app that lets me annotate pdf file on my Fire. Very useful.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


H returns tomorrow night ... back to normal hooray.

Busy day, incl 2 runs for Sketch.

Webinar this eve.

No work on Overdrive but more prep of poems. Looking good. Everybody loves my cover ... well, except gurus of marketing ha ha.

48 hours

Kickoff and college football season begins. Dying to try this app, which promises a hell of a lot. But not everything. No Ivy league teams, no Harvard.


7 grunt work finished, on to the polish. Should be released this week.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nike U

58.5 point favorites! That might be a good bet.

At last

Did a lot of O grunt work, only a few pages left. Should finish tomorrow and move on to polish, publish end of week or weekend.

Most livable city?

Gang shootout on the waterfront as folks are boarding the sternwheeler over the weekdnd ... terrific. This on the tail of investigation that concluded Pdx is major player in child prostitution. ... There are reputations and there are reputations. You take Portland, I'll take Fossil.

Last poem standing

Cut another. This should be it. No stinkers, is the goal.


Last night the Portland Timbers went to Seattle and played before 70,000 soccer fans, 3x more than watched the Mariners earlier. I watched a little on TV, then listened to a little on radio and learned that soccer is a terrible radio sport. Portland lost 1-0.

The fire this time

The horror of the gigantic fire at Yosemite is that it's not an isolated disaster but just another horror in Nature's unrelenting and accelerating reply to human meddling. Things will continue to get worse for years to come. In time, with water shortages, we'll be at war over limited resources. Apparently we never will try to alleviate these conditions.
An ugly future indeed.

So enjoy what you can while you can. Have a ... etc.

Take it easy

Still moving slowly. Did Monday morning marketing prep. Now to run computer maintenance and read paper, back to do grunt work.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fox Sports

Wash - Boise State is on TV on Sat. Cool. So is Oregon but the game is a joke. UCLA no but my app is supposed to get radio broadcast. We'll find out real soon now. I'm ready.

Japan 6, Cal 4

Exciting final. J defense won it. Cal left 11 runners. Had bases loaded, no outs ... no score.

Pitching new articles

Pitched two ideas to Creative Screenwriting, green light on both.

1. Why screenwriters should take an acting class.
2. Why screenwriters should make a short digital film.

I'll do them in this order.


Great start to LLWS, Calif v Japan, 2-2 after one. Hey, it's more fun rooting for kids than for millionaires!

Beauty of poetry

At this time in my life, in this culture, a great attraction of writing poetry is that it has no commercial possibility whatever. No temptations or delusions.


I have a feeling the overdue significant Northwest earthquake will happen before I pass on to oblivion. Probably on the coast somewhere.

When slow is good

I am enjoying the slow day, watching LL and HS football, reading latest draft of poems, thinking about cover ideas, brooding about the summer failure so far in downsizing ... but at least deciding on a plan and finding resources to use.

I made a pot of blackeyed peas. For the activity of it.

Still hopeful to get some grunt work done on Overdrive. But no biggie if I don't. I am easier on myself than I used to be.

Round two

Went back to bed. Up to try and start the day again. Doesn't bode well for being very productive today.


It's hard to watch the news today not only because of content but because of the new chummy style of delivery. I grew up on Morrow, Brinkley and Cronkite. These chummy buddy-buddy newscasters come off to me as phony and condescending. Diane Sawyer, for example. She sounds like she's having a didactic talk with a child.

Aaron Brown, when he was at CNN, was one of the few new old school newscasters. So naturally they canned him.

Just another grumpy old man ha ha.

Not firing on all cylinders

A bit under the weather this morning ... LLWS championship at noon, diversion .. but it surely would be great to finish Overdrive #7 grunt work today. I think it's supposed to rain, good day to lay low.

Politicians -

Politicians - "Charles Deemer
August 25, 2013

Here's the poem.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chain saw

Eliminated two more poems from book. Think this may be it now.

Work despite

Got more done today than I expected, on poems, on Overdrive, on chores. Waiting now for the small school football game at 5.

Downloads pushing 600. Blows my mind.

Promo info

Some months back I did a short test promo of Overdrive #1 ... a total bomb. Very same book in short promo this weekend ... and it already has over 300 downloads. Difference? It is promoted prominently at BookGoodies, an important site. This is a freebie, though you also can buy promos. They just pick a few. Obviously makes a difference but something I have no control over. But I'll take it.

Veggie day?

So much good sports on TV today, 2 LL finals, great small high school game (northwest interest), Mariners tonight ... will I get a thing done?

Chain saw

Eliminated another poem, two more on the bubble. As the late Jim Wiley used to say, What fun!

Sad news

Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's, no longer can sing. Always liked her, esp an album she made of classics from Great American Song Book.

Friday, August 23, 2013

High school football

ESPN shows more every year. Just watched exciting 4th Q of two schools in Maryland. Tomorrow night, small schools in Idaho and Utah. When football is still a game ... what a concept.

Looking good

I started with 147 pages of poems ... have it down to 66 pages ... the goal, of course, is no stinkers retained. Since I write mostly stinkers, it's a chore to whip a book into shape. But I am optimistic I have something.

Reached agreement with Round Bend Press, if TS takes it, we'll publish on my 74th birthday in October, the same Saturday the Ducks and Bruins meet in Nike stadium. Go, Bruins! say I. Go, Ducks! says TS. Should be fun but probably not on TV here.

My blood tests have never been better! Cholesterol down to 194... must be all that scrapple. I could kick up Potassium, but that's about it. The bionic man lives.

Rally #2

So Wash. took a 13-5 lead ... but now it's 13-13 ... my o my. Conn. has hit 5 HRs. Next ...


Connecticut coach to little league pitcher after allowing 10 runs in 4th inning, finally being replaced with 2 outs, "Don't let this get you down."

Talk about a rally!

For first 3 innings Wash. looked terrible, lucky to be only 3 runs behind. Now it's the 4th. Wash. has 8 runs in inning so far, 1 out. Looking good. But in LL, fortunes turn quickly (as now).

Still standing

Always a good visit with my doc. She has a great personality and we laugh a lot. Most importantly, she respects my views. Blood test results tell the real story ... later today they should be online.

Last night's Washington little league game moved to today, on soon. I'll watch, then head in to sign my contract.

Always feel good coming out of the doctor's office.


I always am early and always end up waiting ... in this case, to head out to doc. In rush hour traffic, alas.

4th draft of poems to Kindle. Frustrating format issues, hidden codes, had to resort to the nuclear option. A quick glance looks good, careful reading later.

Sick joke

Now that Manning is a woman, how long before The Huffington Post shows us her side boob?  Sorry.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

College football app

Going thru the features of my college football app and if everything works, it should be as good as my MLB app, which is amazing. But thete are many, many more college football teams and it's mind-boggling to think I can access ANY game. We'll see! and I'm sitting on ready.

Fall contracts are ready. Might as well go in and sign it after my doc appt tomorrow.

I hope for one of three outcomes at doc ... 1. all is well 2. small trivial issue. 3. terminal issue. I don't want any serious but treatable issue. No hassles. No chemo, bed time etc. No medical miracles. Either it's time or it isn't. We fuck with Nature enough, I don't need to be a vehicle for it.

I expect #1.

AlJ America

Watched the news here tonight and don't understand what the hoopla is about. In style and delivery, same o same o. Maybe story selection is better. So far, not impressed.

Drama v. Life

If I were writing a drama about a guy who leaks secrets and spoke up in a production meeting that we also should make him a woman trapped in a man's body, I'd be fired on the spot. Drama is more ordered than life.

We made the LA Times

The Op Ed page at the LA Times invited submissions of short poems of opinion. Rec'd over 1500 submissions, chose 50 to publish ... and my short poem "Politicians" is one of them! Very cool. This is nothing more than a story Dick Crooks told me set to verse. Comes out this Sunday, I think. (Oops, that's over 1500 poets submitting over 3000 poems. Makes it even cooler. My late friend would grin at the news and, who knows, may be grinning in the hills of White Bird pass, where his ashes were scattered.)

I met a 90 year old woman
who told me she quit voting
for politicians on her 76th birthday
and wishes she had done it earlier.
When I asked her why, she
grinned and said, "I don't want
to encourage them."

Germany Breaks Its Own Record For Solar Power Generation | ThinkProgress

Germany Breaks Its Own Record For Solar Power Generation | ThinkProgress:

Once upon a time, we were the leaders of the free west. Now we are dinosaurs.


Have draft of book of poems on my Kindle Fire. Did my 10 pages of Overdrive. Gave Sketch his first run. A very productive morning.

Have to start fasting this evening, for blood tests tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Little league

Exciting games as the finals get closer. Washington is still alive.


I am calling my new book of poems A MAJORITY OF ONE: Poems 2012-2013. I have 2 of the 3 sections in reasonable shape. The largest section is still a mess.

Day game

Mariners win, another rally. Great road trip.


Pulling away.

posted from Bloggeroid

Smelling the grass

A week and a half until college football season. and I'm excited despite continuing corruption of the game, mostly by corporate greed. A week from Sat. has Boise State at Washington, best game in week one. Oregon game a joke but sometimes dangerous Nevada visits UCLA.

Best games of year will be Army- Navy, always a biggie in my Navy brat upbringing, and alma mater v. alma mater on my bday, when I will root for the upset of Nike U.

Not long now!

posted from Bloggeroid

Goldman's Mantra

From Adventures in the Screen Trade ... he even writes it in caps so you won't miss it ...
William Goldman
About predicting success in the film industry. Also applies to many other things. Economics, Marketing, for example.

Elmore Leonard's 10 rules of good writing

  1.  Never open a book with weather.
  2.  Avoid prologues.
  3.  Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
  4.  Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
  5.  Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 
  6.  Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
  7.  Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9.  Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
  10.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
Sounds like Stories In Overdrive ha ha! Especially #10.

Doesn't Grapes of Wrath begin with the weather? The Canterbury Tales has a great Prololgue. There are exceptions to every one of these, of course. That's what rules are for.


A good morning, working on new book of poems. Already took S on his morning run, another this eve. Need to do 10 pages of Overdrive to complete minimum work schedule. All is well.

See doc Fri. Annual checkup.

posted from Bloggeroid


Great comeback last night. A's took 4-0 lead in first. End of 7 4-2 but M's had only two hits. Then A's manager lost the game. Took out the pitcher. 94 pitches etc. Christy M threw 200 pitches a game! In 8th Mariners exploded against new pitcher, win easily. Old school would have won for A's, modern wimp sensibility loses the win. Mariners will take it!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Watched CNN doc on Amanda Knox case, about as depressing a story of injustice and prosecutorial delusion as one can find. What pathetic events occur in this world.

posted from Bloggeroid

R.I.P. Elmore Leonard

Death announced a few hrs ago.
posted from Bloggeroid


One of the more depressing things in the cultural landscape for me is how many intelligent folks still buy into the lone assassin nonsense. There are two undeniable facts about the JFK assassination: 1. he is dead 2. he was shot from at least two directions, front and back. The undeniable existence of front entry wounds adds up to a conspiracy. By whom? Who the hell knows? I have my opinion after years of intensive study but it's not as certain as the two previous facts.

Some folks deny front entry wounds. They disregard that EVERY medical professional at the Dallas hospital who saw the body said so, before being brow beaten days later to change their minds; that the first public press conference at the hospital said there was a front entry wound; that decades later an emergency room surgeon who was there, who operated on the body, detailed the medical cover up and when he was challenged he sued for defamation of character and WON (the book is "Trauma Room One: the JFK medical coverup exposed"); that Congress itself concluded there was a "probable conspiracy," a fact most folks don't even know. Congress recommended continued and deeper study, which of course was quickly forgotten.

Moreover, a conspiracy by powerful people who considered JFK a traitor, one who had committed treason by refusing air support at the Bay of Pigs and, maybe even worse, giving the Amer Univ speech in which he waved a peace flag at the Russians because we all live on one planet, here is a far more sensible explanation than lining up all these so called lone duck madmen, Oswald and Ruby. Moreover, an assassination plan  existed in other cities (Chicago) first and was revealed before it happened.

JFK was removed by a coup d'etat, right here in the red, white and blue, and anyone who looks at the evidence rationally, despite the flood of nutty theories (I was in the Army Security Agency: if you want a conspiracy dismissed, it is textbook strategy to plant off the wall crazy theories everywhere so the "real" conspiracy gets dismissed in the company), cannot deny this because one can't deny bullets coming from more than one direction. Bobby Kennedy thought the CIA was involved. Kenny O'Donnell saw smoke and heard gun fire from the grassy knoll but was persuaded to testify otherwise by the FBI, only revealing this truth decades later, just before his death. The son of a prominent CIA agent wrote an amazing, moving book in which he concludes his father was involved. Etc etc etc.

But front entry wounds make the case for some kind of conspiracy, by somebody or other. The logic to me goes to those who thought JFK committed treason and was a traitor.

Some future Shakespeare, if the world lasts long enough, will have a field day with this material.

In the meantime, among Homo consumerus, too many bright folks remain snookered. 50 year anniversary come November. Nothing will change.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Recent reading

Never Say Die: The Myth and Marketing of the New Old Age (Vintage) by Susan Jacoby
We need to look at old old age as it is, not as the middle-aged and the young old would like it to be.
 The middle-aged, not the old, are the instigators and disseminators of most of the pop culture gibberish about the wonders of the new old age.
 THOMAS PAINE COMPLETE WORKS - ULTIMATE COLLECTION - Common Sense, Age of Reason, Crisis, The Rights of Man, Agragian Justice, ALL Letters and Short Writings by Darryl Marks, Thomas Paine
Paine was buried in New Rochelle on his farm. Most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the New York Citizen, which read in part: "He had lived long, did some good and much harm." Only six mourners came to his funeral. 
 A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium by Chris Harman
Our species (modern humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens) is over 100,000 years old. For 95 percent of this time it has not been characterised at all by many of the forms of behaviour ascribed to ‘human nature’ today.
 JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass
Thomas Merton has been my guide through a story of deepening dialogue, assassination, and a hoped-for resurrection. While Kennedy is the subject of this story, Merton is its first witness and chorus from his unique perspective in a monastery in the hills of Kentucky. In terms of where this narrative began and how it has been guided, it is contemplative history. Thanks to Merton’s questions and insights, grounded on a detachment few other observers seemed to have, we can return to the history of JFK, the Cold War, and Dallas on a mind-bending pilgrimage of truth. Reality may indeed be bigger than we think.
 Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer & Their Vision for World Peace by Peter Janney, Dick Russell
“Historical truth matters,” said former Princeton historian Martin Duberman, now a Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at CCNY. “As a nation, we care little for it, much preferring simplistic distortions that sustain our national myths about ‘freedom,’ ‘opportunity,’ and ‘democracy.’ You can’t grow into adulthood when you’re fed pabulum all your life. And that’s why we remain a nation of adolescents, with a culture concerned far more with celebrityhood than with suffering.”
 At a private dinner five years after the Kennedy assassination, O’Neill recalled a conversation with Kenny O’Donnell and Dave Powers, during which they had told him that at least “two shots” had come from in front of the motorcade “behind the fence.”11 “That’s not what you told the Warren Commission,” the astonished Tip O’Neill had said to O’Donnell. “You’re right,” O’Donnell replied. “I told the FBI what I had heard, but they said it couldn’t have happened that way and that I must have been imagining things. So I testified the way they wanted me to. I just didn’t want to stir up any more pain and trouble for the family.”
 Bobby Kennedy, upon learning that his brother had been killed, placed a telephone call to a ranking official at CIA headquarters in Langley—reportedly less than an hour after the shooting—demanding to know, “Did your outfit have anything to do with this horror?”15 Bobby’s question was confounding and staggering.
 After reviewing the 16-millimeter film at NPIC that Sunday evening, November 24, with his assistant Morgan Bennett Hunter, he was sure, he told the ARRB, that “about eight (8) shots” had been fired at the president’s limousine.
 “The only time in my entire life I ever saw fear in my father was when I would ask him about who really killed Kennedy,” recalled Toni. “He would look at me. I could see his fear. ‘Don’t push me’ he would say, adding, ‘It would be dangerous for you to know the truth.’ And then he would just change the subject.”
 Ignorance dipped in fear-mongering and dazzled by fabricated myths had become the breeding ground for official stupidity, darkness, and senseless wars. Ignorance had once again become evil’s greatest handyman. As Benjamin Franklin wisely noted, “It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.” Mary Pinchot Meyer had been struck down before she could speak publicly. Leo Damore had fallen, very likely poisoned into uncontrollable despair. John Davis, having picked up Leo’s mantle, finally opted out, his life threatened. He “wanted to live,” he said, shortly before a crippling stroke.

Pound nailed it

More than half a century has passed since Ezra Pound's The ABC of Reading, but this eccentric, elitist, fascist, possible mad man nailed the disastrous consequences of "making literature democratic." Nailed it.

posted from Bloggeroid

Good news and bad at Uncle Freddy's

To store for a few things ... swung by Goodwill truck and asked if guy knew of charity that took deposit cans ... had tried to give bag to VA, boy scouts, sal army, turned down .. couldn't believe it ... guy said, We do! Salvation.

To store, came out... hmm where did I park? Had to go one end to the other to find car! Old age marches on.

I think come fall or winter I may call this the Summer of Bullshit. Up to my ears in marketing theories and have yet to find one that can't be proved false in about 15 minutes in the real world, that is, with the data at Amazon regarding book sales. You need a short title? I'll show you a long title selling like hot cakes. A great image for your book cover? I'll show you a plain cover on a great seller. All these marketing gurus need to take Epistemology 101. This field is as bad as the film industry for very hot air. It's incredible.

But the marathon continues.
posted from Bloggeroid

New poems

Worked on the new book of poems this morning. Hard work. Tentatively dividing into three sections: Sketch. Magic Wand. A Majority of One. Have a lot of poems to throw out once I get them together. Hard work.

Need to get back to Overdrive. Later today. Need a second wind.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reality check

I keep thinking of Jordan Hasey, Oregon's distance runner, high school phenomenon who was wooed to Nike U, where she had a stellar NCAA career, going to the world championships and getting lapped in the 10,000. Well, it's not her usual distance but one she aspires to, and there's nothing like a reality check to let her know where she stands. I admire the hell out of decision to run. Whether she can get good I don't know. But she is living in reality, where many jocks don't go, especially those in sports with more subjective standards. She's a star in my book.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday morning!

Breakfast with Mark, always a battery charge, and energy otherwise returning, suggesting a good day, hell, a good week. Onward!

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kids playing kids' games

Both little league and softball world series in progress, a chance to remember that baseball is a GAME. What a concept.

posted from Bloggeroid

Cooking therapy

Made an incredible meatloaf early a.m. Now making scrapple.

posted from Bloggeroid


The courage and resolve of the Egyptian democratic movement are extraordinary. But the Obama administration is flirting with ending up on the wrong side of history. It's a great mistake not to call a coup a coup just because we (temporarily) like the results. We are blowing this big time, and the Egyptian democrats know it. Another sad chapter in our sad history. We don't walk our talk.

posted from Bloggeroid

Ahdaf Soueif

I caught the end of a BBC interview with an Egyptian woman whose name I didn't get. A writer. Her commentary of events in Egypt were so cogent, so articulate and clear; her condemnation of American policy as being against democratic interests so convincing, I had to find out who she was. Not an easy task. The BBC website didn't help. I found a list of prominent women writers in Egypt and began there. Soueif was an early possibility because of her activism. I found audio of an interview at the British museum - and instantly recognized her voice. Now I have to read her books. An incredible mind.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mid-marathon malaise

Still far from my late June, July, energy that enabled me to get so much done on Overdrive. Need the battery charge, the lobotomy, the usual mental makeover. Sooner rather than later, but the transition back to energy doesn't follow a rule book, unfortunately, but I can force myself to do things, hoping it's catching. Did some necessary chores this morning, for example, and I have all afternoon to do SOMETHING productive. I'll be back in rhythm soon, I think. Not like this has never happened before.

Walk like an Egyptian

Yesterday's horrific events can be called many things but "surprising" is not one of them. Maybe now we can call a coup a coup and abandon our policy of hypocrisy. But I doubt it. That would require endorsing democracy when we don't like the results. As Orwell noted, all people are equal but some are more equal than others.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A good radio town

Portland has damn good jazz and classical radio stations. Not every city can say this. It has 2 extraordinary programs, one playing right now, Divaville, a celebration of vocalists of the Great American Songbook era, on every Wed. night and repeated Sat. afternoons on KMHD, the jazz station. The other is Music From the True Vine, a Sat. morning bluegrass show on KBOO, a community radio station (only thing I ever listen to on the station). Wed. nights and Sat. mornings are great for radio.

posted from Bloggeroid

Getting into gear

Morning at the dentist, tra la tra la, after which I need to get into a high level work gear.

H safe and sound on the east coast.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, August 12, 2013


Hanging in.

Revisiting Fri Night Lights and enjoying first season. Can't recall when I quit on it. So far, so good once again.

posted from Bloggeroid

New Creative Screenwriting magazine

Note from new/founding editor that the launch will be in a day or two! Had to register a photo for my "avatar" to accompany articles. Sure gets more complicated as more wired. At any rate, really looking forward to it, the online version appearing first. I'd sent them two things. Need to do more in my wonderful contributing when I want writer status. One advantage of a track record there, I suppose. Want to do something about shooting video and how it changed my thoughts about screenwriting.

Hamlet as hyperdrama

To Be or Not To Be: Ryan North: 9780982853740: Books:

"To Be or Not To Be is a choose-your-own-path version of Hamlet by New York Times best-selling author Ryan North. Play as Hamlet, Ophelia, or King Hamlet—if you want to die on the first page and play as a ghost. It's pretty awesome! Readers can follow Yorick skull markers to stick closely to Shakespeare's plot, or go off-script and explore alternative possibilities filled with puzzles and humor.

Each ending in the book is accompanied by a full-color, full-page illustration by one of the 65 most excellent artists working today, so each rereading yields new surprises and rewards. Ryan's prose is, as always, colloquial and familiar but full of clever references, vivid imagination, and only the most choice of jokes. Inventive devices like a book-within-a-book (to mirror Hamlet's play-within-a-play) take full advantage of the gamebook medium and liven up the original story for even the most disinterested of Shakespeare readers!"

Well, decades ago I figured out that for hyperdrama to get respect, one would have to tell a classic story this way, hence my Chekhov hyperdrama, The Seagull Hyperdrama. Now with more PR savvy, press and money, a best selling cartoonist has treated Hamlet the same way. I was there first but there invisibly. It will be interesting to see if this generates an audience. Moreover, it was a Kickstarter project, raising over half a million dollars!
Late last year, Web cartoonist Ryan North launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund To Be or Not to Be, an illustrated “chooseable-path adventure”—pardon the copyright dodge—version of Hamlet. Thanks to media attention and a viral spread that attracted an audience beyond fans of North’s popular Dinosaur Comics, it became the most funded publishing project in Kickstarter history, surpassing its initial $20,000 goal by more than half a million dollars.
The trouble with being ahead of the curve is, you don't get much company until you're long gone onto other mindsets, and quite out of the picture as the hordes chase a "new idea" that is very old to you.

New poems

I've gathered together over 150 pages of poems written since the book was published (In My Old Age), and now the filtering process begins, being tough on myself as before, so every poem selected is one I feel good about. But there should be enough left over for a new book. No rush. My working title is "Instructions On Dying," obviously a best seller ha ha.

Mid-marathon funk

Temporary lack of energy to progress on Overdrive experiment, no grunt work for three days, hope to pick it up today ... even though evidence continues, in book sales, that a small but significant change comes from the work. Well, things change this week with H out of town and my attempt to whip this chaotic mess of a basement into some kind of shape. Man, what a task this will be! But one cook in the kitchen is better than two when faced with a job like this. At the very, very least, I'll take care of all my stuff down here, getting rid of most of it. But that's just a drop in the ocean. H has a lot of decisions to make about a ton of stuff. I'd just get rid of it all but it ain't my stuff, alas.

So the tempo will change around here once I get started on the basement. If I put in a few hours a day for two weeks, I should get a lot done. It's all attitude. The Overdrive funk is really about attitude. Life is run on the fuel of attitude.

And my attitude sucks lately ha ha. At least I can laugh about it. Laughing at myself has saved my ass more than once.

American progress III

Missouri State Fair Apologizes After Announcer Mocks, Threatens Rodeo Clown In An Obama Mask | ThinkProgress:

"“One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy,” the posting said. “Finally a bull came close enough to him that he had to move so he jumped up and ran away to the delight of the onlookers hooting and hollering from the stands.”"

'via Blog this'

American progress II

African-American Baltimore Orioles Star Says Fans Threw Banana At Him During Game | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'

American "progress"

Dana Rohrabacher, GOP House Science Committee Member: 'Global Warming Is A Total Fraud':

"... the congressional body designed to address climate change and its causes has been stacked with Republicans who refuse to consider that a threat exists. "

'via Blog this'

How Two Reservoirs Have Become Billboards For What Climate Change Is Doing To The American West | ThinkProgress

How Two Reservoirs Have Become Billboards For What Climate Change Is Doing To The American West | ThinkProgress:

"As soon as Monday, the federal government’s Bureau of Reclamation will announce the results of some very serious number crunching and model running focused on falling water levels in Lake Powell. It is widely expected that the bureau will announce that there is a serious water shortage and that for the first time in the 50-year-history of the dam, the amount of water that will be released from the reservoir will be cut. Not just cut, but cut by 750,000 acre feet — an acre foot being enough water to cover an acre one foot deep. That’s more than 9 percent below the 8.23 million acre feet that is supposed to be delivered downstream to Lake Mead for use in the states of California, Nevada and Arizona and the country of Mexico under the 81-year old Colorado River Compact and later agreements."

'via Blog this'

Oppenheimer: The Shape of Genius by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books

Oppenheimer: The Shape of Genius by Freeman Dyson | The New York Review of Books:

"Why another book about Robert Oppenheimer? Many books have been written and widely read, ranging from the impressionistic Lawrence and Oppenheimer of Nuel Pharr Davis to the scholarly American Prometheus of Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin. Ray Monk says he wrote his book because the others gave too much weight to Oppenheimer’s politics and too little weight to his science. Monk restores the balance by describing in detail the activities that occupied most of Oppenheimer’s life: learning and exploring and teaching science."

'via Blog this'

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The company you keep

Oregon sensation Jordan Hasay entered the 10000m championship in Moscow. She got lapped! There's a lesson there. But good for her for facing reality.
posted from Bloggeroid

Good vibes

Lots of good vibe stories in the SF Chronicle this morning ... Kiva, a kickstarter for small businesses, an elderly man who gets money singing, donates it to Kiva to help younger folks start a business. And a survey ... majority do NOT want medicine to extend life to 120 years. Surprised me but I certainly agree.

posted from Bloggeroid

Neurofiction | The Passive Voice |

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

"In neurofiction, the story’s effect on the reader’s brain – electrical activity of their neurons – is captured using an electroencephalography headset. Using an algorithm that learns what themes and elements engage each reader, our neurofiction engine turns this data into a unique path through the story. The reader can be guided to one of multiple possible endings or allowed to explore a new region of the story space."

Quite beyond hyperdrama and not something I'm entirely comfortable with. More progress toward the bionic man.

Quotation of the day

From The Passive Voice ...
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Robert A. Heinlein

Nuclear Expert: Fukushima Is 'Emergency Without End' | Common Dreams

Nuclear Expert: Fukushima Is 'Emergency Without End' | Common Dreams:

"Fukushima continues to be an emergency without end – vast amounts of radioactivity, including strontium-90 in the groundwater, evidence of leaks into the sea, the prospect of contaminated seafood. Strontium-90, being a calcium analog, bioaccumulates in the food chain. It is likely to be a seaside nightmare for decades."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Good sports day

Track, little league, softball, horse racing! Love it.

posted from Bloggeroid

10,000 meters

Farah wins ... Rupp 4th.

posted from Bloggeroid


Comfortable lead.

posted from Bloggeroid

A new book of poems?

Gathering together poems written since my book was published, and it's looking probable that I have enough for a new book. Maybe toward the end of the year. Give Round Bend Press first look at it.

Track and field championships in Russia begin on TV, rooting as always for Galen Rupp. Love the distance races! Admire the runners as much as any jocks in any sport.

posted from Bloggeroid

Rarely done

Made sausage gravy from scratch. So good I just had it over toast for breakfast.

posted from Bloggeroid

A Writerly Retirement: End Game Anxiety

A Writerly Retirement: End Game Anxiety:

'via Blog this'


Our basement is a nightmare, an undeniable unorganized chaotic fire trap of stuff accumulated over decades, most of it H's. She leaves town for a couple weeks, during which I am determined to get a handle on downsizing and at the very least take are of my ten percent of this mess and maybe organize the rest a little, into areas I think should be given to Goodwill, sold, or whatever. It will be a challenge to say the least but a hell of a lot easier to do alone. So now is the time. Now or never, for this summer.

I remember a surreal time when I owned little stuff -- and didn't have a key to my name. I was on the flight west after the breakup of my marriage, traveling light, and I realized, Deemer, you do not own a single key! No house key, car key, locker key, chest key, nothing! I couldn't remember never owning a key. It was an unsettling experience, actually.

I confessed this to my best buddy Dick, who was putting me up, and at dinner the second night I was presented with a wrapped present. I unwrapped it and opened a small box that rattled -- a key ring with a dozen keys! They had gathered up all their unknown keys to give to me. Now I owned keys again. I felt relieved.

It would be a few more months before I owned a key that actually unlocked something.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Kudos II

Rec'd very special thank you card from grad student I've been mentoring. Really appreciate it.

posted from Bloggeroid


Got an email from our former mayor, "I'm into Overdrive!" He never reads fiction usually but likes how quickly these stories go. He's older than I am ... a new audience? He bought first when A sent him email announcing one.
posted from Bloggeroid

The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed | ThinkProgress

The Massive Demand For Solar In Asia Shows Us Where The Industry Is Headed | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'

Please Read Joseph Heller's Catch-22 on Your Vacation, Mr. President | Common Dreams

Please Read Joseph Heller's Catch-22 on Your Vacation, Mr. President | Common Dreams:

"Barack Obama ran as the anti-war alternative when he was a primary challenger to Hillary Clinton, whose nomination as Democratic presidential candidate in 2008 was widely held to be inevitable. It was his 2 October 2002 speech in Chicago where he declared his opposition to the imminent invasion of Iraq, calling it "a dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics." As a US senator, he pledged to filibuster any bill that granted retroactive immunity to large telecommunication corporations that co-operated with the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping of US citizens. And on his first day in office, you might recall, he vowed to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay."

You mean politicians don't do what they say to get elected? Shocking!

Hiroshima's Legacy—The Obsolescence of War | Common Dreams

Hiroshima's Legacy—The Obsolescence of War | Common Dreams:

Talk about wishful thinking. This is the left at its worst, writing as if logic, common sense and humane behavior dictated political decisions. 'This is self-serving political masturbation for the left. And you find it everywhere. Political assassins have a better understanding of history than these heartfelt, well-meaning, blinder-led rhetoricians.

16 Of Your Favorite Things That Climate Change Is Totally Screwing Up | ThinkProgress

16 Of Your Favorite Things That Climate Change Is Totally Screwing Up | ThinkProgress:

'via Blog this'


This weekend's freebie is Refugee From Roswell. Link in right column.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 08, 2013


Difficult, medium settings seem the same to me.

posted from Bloggeroid

Slowly with feeling

A tad of progress on #7 ... maybe 30% thru grunt phase. Mindless activity while listening to jazz, the thinking comes at the next step. Might get it out there late next week. The marathon feels endless.

Reading recent book by Susan Jacoby. Love her. Gets through the crap. She wrote Age of Amer Unreason, worthy companion to Hofstadter classic on Amer anti-intellectualism. This one about the Non-aging industry, new age bullshit and other dances by charlatans. Refreshing to read about aging and death from a rational person. "Never Say Die: the myth and marketing of the new old age" is the book.
posted from Bloggeroid

R.I.P. Karen Black

A fine actress.

posted from Bloggeroid


Looking at the schedule, this football app seems to cover all the bases. 3 weeks before I can test it. Looks pretty good.

posted from Bloggeroid

Football p.s.

Bought a 99c app that looks great, college games only. I love radio games if the announcers are old school. Many are.

posted from Bloggeroid

Football audio

For days I've been searching for a football equivalent of MLB game day, all game broadcasts with no blackouts. I may have found it with ... test this eve with Broncos exhibition game. Both pro and college, basically links to radio stations.

posted from Bloggeroid

The mother of all comfort breakfasts

Went the whole hog this morning, with a last meal on death row mentality ... toast soaked in half and half instead of skim milk ... bacon as well as scrapple on the toast ... two eggs instead of one. Now I lay me down to sleep ... best breakfast in the universe.

posted from Bloggeroid

9 Mistakes You're Making With Scrambled Eggs

9 Mistakes You're Making With Scrambled Eggs:

'via Blog this'

Forget Student Loans -- Make Higher Ed Free | Common Dreams

Forget Student Loans -- Make Higher Ed Free | Common Dreams:

"The smart choice would be to make college and professional training free — as we learned from the GI Bill after World War II. Under this 1944 law, about 7.8 million veterans were trained, including some 2.2 million who went to college; 3.5 million who went to trade, technical or other schools; 1.4 million who got on-the-job training; and 700,000 who got farm training. The total cost of the program was $14.5 billion — $1,860 per vet. A 1988 congressional study found that every public dollar invested in the GI Bill produced a $7 increase in our nation's economic output."

Hear, hear! Where are the champions in Congress of great ideas like this?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Ms win slugfest

Came from 5 down, helped by 6 run 5th.

posted from Bloggeroid

Quotation of the day

From the Daily Dish ...
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace,” - Milan Kundera, as quoted in The Canine Hiker’s Bible.
Which brings to mind ...
 "All humanity's troubles come from not knowing how to sit still in one room," - Blaise Pascal.

Tentative suspicions

I'm maybe a third into the experiment of the summer but I already have some tentative suspicions about what I'm going to learn from all this.

  • the process sells more books. My sales at Amazon, a trickle before, are a much larger trickle now. All this marketing activity does sell more books.
  • the system greatly favors those with self-promotion skills. In my experience, the best writers are often introverts without such skills. The present system works against them.
  • content is given mere lip service, if mentioned at all. No one ever talks about what is IN the book. It's always about the title, the cover, the social media networking, the email pitches. I haven't read a single word from any marketing guru about content.
  • you can't get into big sales at Amazon without Amazon support. It is not easy to get it. Good sales gets it, but then it becomes a chicken and egg issue.
  • none of this activity has anything to do with why I became a writer. 
  • I would not become a writer today, or at least not a "public" one. 
Maybe some of this will change. Maybe not. We'll see.

Online Retail Now Accounts for Nearly Half of All U.S. Book Sales | The Passive Voice |

Online Retail Now Accounts for Nearly Half of All U.S. Book Sales | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe:

'via Blog this'

Daily Kos: 15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media

Daily Kos: 15 things everyone would know if there were a liberal media:

Laughable that the right thinks there IS a liberal mainstream media. There is a corporate mainstream media that specializes in entertainment. Hey, even the Huffington Post is boob crazy!

Who's Afraid of Zinn's Radical History? | Common Dreams

Who's Afraid of Zinn's Radical History? | Common Dreams:

"Mitch Daniels’s covert war on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States"

'via Blog this'

Round Bend Press: Kelly and Dan

Round Bend Press: Kelly and Dan:

Terry Simons remembers a moment at the end of Portland's Golden Age.


The more I think about it, the more I believe the rise of self-promotion is the greatest change in literary culture in my lifetime. When I was getting my MFA, we considered it to be crass, desperate, anti-literary. Only hacks and charlatans considered it. If you wanted publicity, there were more creative ways to get it: get drunk and punch somebody out like Mailer; become an extreme recluse like Salinger or Pynchon; hunt big game like Hemingway. Self-promotion for commercial benefit was an insult to the importance of literature. Bad taste and desperation.

Well, what can I say except ... R.I.P.

posted from Bloggeroid

Good promo

Promo for A Gift Before Dying had 900 downloads, quite decent.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Gin rummy.

posted from Bloggeroid

Killing Felix

Mariners King not himself tonight, behind 6-0, only the 5th. I had a premonition. He was on too good a streak, a tumble due.

posted from Bloggeroid

Critically Acclaimed Books and Ebooks From The Best Indie Authors

Critically Acclaimed Books and Ebooks From The Best Indie Authors:

A site like this has been needed for some time. It's drawback is that it is author-driven (authors apply), not reviewer-driven (authors don't apply). This model reinforces the self-promotion model, which I think is destructive to the health of literature. But it's better than nothing.

Sketch runs like the wind

Walked Sketch to the school park down the road, maybe a mile away, and there he ran and ran like the wind. Love seeing him run. Then I hobbled home with him, the old right knee not doing too well. Nope, no knee replacement for me! I'll live with it.

Everything's relative

As low key as my life has become, it's still more busy than I'd prefer. I really wish I were in a small desert town where I could walk everywhere and where the daily pace of life is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Not going to happen but one can always sigh and dream.

Once the experiment is over, my life should really show down. I am thinking of a "final book" then, if I still have my wits about me, called "Instructions On Dying," my last effort of pissing against the wind in this culture. Well, too far away to make plans. Whatever happens, happens. As the old folk song goes, "I'm a stranger here and merely passing through."


Gin rummy.

posted from Bloggeroid

Early start

L of marketing grunt work this morning, something I'd fallen behind on.

The big downsizing momentum begins next week because I'm batching it for two weeks, H on her periodic visit east. Maybe I can really get something done for a change.

Not so eager for school to start but maybe that will change. I hope the last year isn't a hassle, that I retired one year too late. Maybe I'll get excited about it as the fall approaches. I hope so. Want to go out with lots of good energy.

I have some apprehension about the years ahead only because I have such radical views about end of life issues and circumstances could bring these into visible conflict with just about everyone around me. On the other hand, maybe I can follow in the family tradition: both my parents dropped dead on the spot! Quite remarkable. Can we make it three? Sure would save a lot of potential hassles. (Well, maybe depending on where and when it happens! ha ha).

At any rate I've accepted the inevitable for some time now, hoping the time happens "naturally." In the meantime, I amuse myself as best I can.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Ultimate Iced Coffee Taste Test

Ultimate Iced Coffee Taste Test Slideshow | Slideshow | The Daily Meal:

I live on iced coffee. I was surprised but pleased by this test. Of course, there's no accounting for taste.

"1. Starbucks
One of the editors who performed the taste test says she usually goes to small, independent bodegas in New York to avoid pouring money into big coffee chains. But even though the number two spot went to an independent coffee shop in New York, her favorite in the blind taste test was surprisingly the Starbucks freshly brewed iced coffee, "

My choice, plus I grind my own beans and make it at home with a French press in the refrig.

Hollywood and Blake Snyder’s screenwriting book, Save the Cat! - Slate Magazine

Hollywood and Blake Snyder’s screenwriting book, Save the Cat! - Slate Magazine:

"The formula didn’t come from a mad scientist. Instead it came from a screenplay guidebook, Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need. In the book, author Blake Snyder, a successful spec screenwriter who became an influential screenplay guru, preaches a variant on the basic three-act structure that has dominated blockbuster filmmaking since the late 1970s."

Wrong. It was Aristotle, not Snyder or Sid Fields before him, that established the 3-act paradigm for storytelling. It's worked for thousands of years. The creative key is to give it a good disguise. It's called magic, you get the audience to look elsewhere while you do the trick.

Leading the pack, screenwriter as sleuth

My Kindle book selling the best at the moment is ... Murder At the Black Cat B&B. This is reworking of an earlier paperback, Dead Body In A Small Room, which was a finalist in the 2006 Mystery of the Year award sponsored by Foreword Magazine. An agent picked it up as the first in a series and thank the gods he wasn't able to sell it! I am not cut out to keep repeating myself.
A Hollywood screenwriter recovering from cancer in a small Nevada town investigates the apparent suicide of a prostitute at the Black Cat B&B, the town's legal brothel. He decides it's murder, and his investigation leads him into basque culture and to a confrontation with a guru's disciples at a nearby ashram in the desert. 

"what a great book"

His journey of twists and turns takes on the energy of one of the movie thrillers he writes.

Along the way he falls for the lovely janitor at the local brothel and makes a decision about his future in LaLaLand. Sometimes life is stranger than a Hollywood movie.

" paced. A good read."


I know what it feels like to be scared by military threats. I was in Germany in the Army Security Agency when the Berlin Wall went up. In fact, my best buddy Dick Crooks did the translation that first alerted us that something was amiss. The Russian army was racing to Berlin. We assumed for an invasion. When Crooks' heads up was confirmed, all Europe went on war alert. Two nuclear armies stood in stand off, watching a wall go up. Scary times! The setting for Baumholder 1961.

If you have an experience like this, it shapes how you feel about world events later.
posted from Bloggeroid

Mom, apple pie and ... teen swimmers

Watching Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky at the world championships was almost enough to make me forget genocide and the Kennedy coup. MF starts her freshman year at Cal and KL returns to high school. What they did is impressive. Great contrast to the pro football ego maniacs. Songs of Innocence.
posted from Bloggeroid


New gin rummy marathon. Off to a good start, changed to hardest setting.

posted from Bloggeroid

The cook in his dreams

I cooked meatloaf this morning because I woke up with a strange recipe in my head. I had to try it: to my usual concoction, using half lamb and half beef, I added salsa verde and black beans. A resounding success!

posted from Bloggeroid

A cooking morning

Meatloaf in the oven, stock for scrapple simmering. A good way to start the week.

posted from Bloggeroid

All sales are not the same

Selling some books is more of a battery charger than selling others ... so I was delighted to see that someone picked up Baumholder 1961 last night. Don't sell a lot but it's a true story about my Army experiences, endorsed by a fellow spy who picked up copies for his sons so he could share that part of his past. Always love to see it read.

posted from Bloggeroid

The Horrors of Self-Promotion | The Passive Voice

The Horrors of Self-Promotion | The Passive Voice | 

"The thing is, it wasn’t always this way. Publishers used to do most of the marketing for the books they put out. The best an author could do was finish the last chapter and then show up reasonably sober for a tri-city book tour. The hope was that the book would eventually be widely reviewed, and then take off on the strength of word-of-mouth. But social media has crushed that seemingly innocent past."

Man, this guy is right on. That's probably why I'd either not become a writer or become a secret, closet writer if I were a young person starting out today, with an interest in literature. This self-promotion hysteria is something new.

The Kindle has turned me off paper books | Books |

The Kindle has turned me off paper books | Books |

"I'm a rare book dealer, but since getting an e-reader older reading media seem awkward and cumbersome"

Hear, hear!! (I bet this guy is getting hate mail.)