Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jeb vs. Hillary

Linked here  is a piece I wrote 3-1/2 yrs ago, as the election of 2012 loomed and the Republican debates were ongoing.

I'm putting it here this morning not to show what a brilliant predictor of events I am, but simply 2 make the point that usually, if we put our emotions aside, it's easy to tell what's gonna happen in US politics.

This year, we'll see all the various serious and non-serious Republican hopefuls shake loose and fall out one at a time. In the end only Jeb B. will B left. It'll be Bush v. Clinton in 2016.

The last 2 fall will B Scotty Walker, the preferred candidate of Dave & Charlie Koch. Walker "the google-eyed homunculus the Koch brothers appointed to manage their midwestern subsidiary, formerly known as the state of Wisconsin." (Charles Pierce @ With Koch money behind him, Walker will B the final impediment in Jeb's scheme. However, Dave & Charlie will grudgingly bow to "the will of the people" (i.e., most of the other billionaires), as Mittens did yesterday.

And in the end, Clinton will win the White House easily unless Bernie Sanders runs as an independent, which he will only do if Liz Warren agrees 2 run with him in the #2 spot. That would  split the Democratic vote & throw the election 2 Jeb.

But that seems unlikely 2 me, and I'm going with Clinton. As 4 my vote, I'll probably let this presidential election pass me by, as I did the last one.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday cat blogging

 Cats appear quite intelligent, but a lot of the behaviors that improve their survivability are instinctive rather than thought out. An example of this is their usual preference 4 drinking  moving, rather than standing water.

In my cat's case, this preference has lately become a mania, as she refuses to drink anything except water flowing from the tap. It's got to be a very tiny stream, too; she won't tolerate water that runs too fast and splashes, because too vigorous a flow wets her front paws, & we can't have that.

Feline mistresses are some of the most exacting. This one ought 2 have her own full-time servant.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

drums tuff

Sunday evening as I sat here attempting to post this, I had an equipment failure, or hardware malfunction as we're wont 2 say these days, when the beat up old cord that connects the iPad to an electrical source finally became 2 porous 2 conduct anything. I realized my blogging career was over 4 a day & a half or so. 

So today I got a ride down to Tarjay, got  a new cord & we're back in business. B4 I was so rudely interrupted I wanted to say that the the drum kit I've been putting together is now all but done, with arrival on Saturday of this beautiful little Ludwig Bros. snare drum, year of manufacture not known.

All we know 4 sure is it's an oldie. The drum & and its identifying badge parted quite some time ago; the seller guesses it's an early 30
s instrument, but it could just as easily B from the 20s. Ludwig didn't put serial numbers on any thing until 1963, so there's no way 2 date it.

It's smaller than Ludwig's standard snare of the time, as it's a "juvenile" model -- made 4 a younger person, but not a toy. Except for its size it's exactly like all the other all-metal, single-tension snare drums that came out of the Ludwig plant from shortly before 1920 thru the early 30's, and looks a lot like this instrument in the hands of  Chauncey Morehouse, Bix Biederbecke's favourite drummer.

Slightly larger, and with a dozen lugs rather than the 6 mine came with, the two instruments are nearly identical, except his has a nifty little sound hole between every pair of lugs My piece arrived somewhat the worse for wear, with the bottom head busted, and the lugs rusted. I took the single-tension lugs off an old Kent drum I bought earlier (and which proved unplayable because it's "out of round"), got a new bottom head, and after slapping on some new snares I should have a picture of the whole kit up by mid-week.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

skyscrapers & chem trials Updated

WH Auden wrote this in NYC on 9/1/1939, which also happens 2 B the name of the piece. There are other years ending in nine 2 which which his "low dishonest decade" might apply -- 1/21/2009, for example. I can't read this without seeing myself in it, along with most of the people I know.

To be able 2 read this poem without a struggle, and hear it read simultaneously, go here.

It's usually relatively easy 2 copy & paste a poem, but sometimes you'll run into dreaded sorts of formatting problems, as happened here. My apologies 2 readers.

You don't have
 2 understand every term Auden uses 2 understand  the poem. W/ the first 2 lines he establishes a tone -- one of  resigned & sad, but determined acceptance of reality. 9/1939 consists of equal parts historical, polical, and spititual elements. Already he smells "The unmentionable odour of  death."

saddy cat

Despite advancing age -- I figure she must B at least 10 -- the cat gets frisky & tears thru the house from one end 2 the other once or twice a day. Sorry abou the blurry shot, but it was the best I could get of the fur blur.

The object of the exercise is centered on the hall runner she's stepping off  here as she enters the living room. She runs into the room  beyond -- the yoga room -- then turns and runs the other way. There's just a bare floor in the yoga room, so it takes a couple seconds of running for her to get traction, then she tears thru the living room and hits the hall runner at full speed, usually getting a nice big slide.

She looks like she's having such fun I might try it myself some time.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


What a test a couple of shitheel Parisian brothers, now deceased, are laying on us. What's the  right way 2 respond 2 terror?

My initial response 2 the Charlie Hebdo massacre was probably "reductive," as The Guardian's Gary Younge characterized all such visceral reactions today. But on further reflection, it seems 2 me that this tragedy raises mostly fundamental free-speech issues, my first conclusion. 

When dealing with terrorists of any kind, whether they're the black-clad dolts of al-Qaida/ISIS, or yr local boys in blue, or the guy from down the street who threatens to whomp you with the Jesus stick, there's 1 principle we need to stick 2.

Salman Rushdie, who appeared on Bill Maher's first show of the new season last night, said it loud and clear -- "Never give a fucking inch."

The terrorist objective is always the same: 2 intimidate us into silence and compliance with their will. That's why it's important to get up in their grilles, and scream loudly, insultingly, and with great malice, "No, Never, Not one inch."

This has been the response, for example, of Deray McKessona St. Louis native, 2 the intermittent and random terror the various police departments in that county have imposed on its black communities.

There R some, such as the TV host mentioned above, Mr. Maher, who concentrate on the ideology of specific terror groups, & argue that acts like the massacre at Charlie Hebdo are intrinsically connected to Islam, a fundamentally flawed religion. However I think even Maher, an arrogant atheist, would find such an argument ridiculous if it was applied to US citizens who have murdered abortion providers & then applied 2 all Christians by extension.

When it all boils down 2 gravy, ideology is words -- hot air, & we're left with behavior. And didja ever notice, the behavior of Mideast terrorists is a lot like that of Americans who sleep on pillowcases wth eyeholes cut in em.     

Friday, January 09, 2015

pea vine

What a lovely & inoffensive citizen is the pea vine,
She asks so little and gives so much.
A little water, clean air & and sunshine, 
& the tiniest patch of dirt, which she lightly touches
As she reaches 2 the sun,
from 1st light until the day is done.

friday cat blogging

This is my daughter's cat, a semi-feral female she's been feeding 4 a year or more.

A few months ago she reported that she was finally permitted 2 pet the kitty. Ever since, the cat has been trying to finagle her way in2 the house.

Looks like she made it. Portland winters, it seems, R not fit outdoors for humans nor beests.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

vánoce skončily

The Holidays are decidedly done 4 another year. Finished. All gone. No more. None left. They're history now, 4 a month & a half annyway, until the feast of St. Valentine sneaks up on us.

Today is the day, if you haven't done so already, to move the dead tree out of the living room, bundle all the decorations into boxes and thence to storage for another year, and assess the damage.

There's been a lot of progress this year, both on the personal front & in the wider world.  There's been a lot of damage 2, as there usually is during times of progress, which entails major changes,

That means it's past time to get serious about changes we've resolved 2 make in our selves in the coming year(s) as well. 

Because of economic, political, & environmental instabilities, society's particles -- i.e., individual humans -- tend 2 B more agitatated than usual, & will become more so as we approach the boiling point.

This may be the year of steam.

Friday, January 02, 2015

superstitious snow

Besides the kit kat, per usual on Friday, I wanted 2 share this pic I took yesterday of "our" mountain, Mt. Superstition by name, because this is the first time I've seen snow on it.

The snow is gone completely 2day, but the mountain remains.

kit kat


Cat in foreground.

In the backround is my jen-U-wine 1920's drumkit, a work in progress, featuring 28" early 20s Ludwig bass drum, a 20s Chinese tack-head tom, & retro style block, bell, and cymbal. These last three items are modern, but the style is pure 20s/very early30s

Still missing: Bass drum beater w/ cymbal sriker, bass drum cymbal mount for the back side, snare drum.              

photo: Kathleen Wood