Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just in case you were ever in doubt about me, this should calrify things a bit :)

According to Tolkien, Hobbits eat at least seven meals a day. These are known by the following: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May the light of Christ warm your heart the entire year through.

Come on March 6th!

Melissa and I reserved a slot on a cruise ship with a bunch of her mom's side of the family (about 25 in all!) clear back in June/July. We got a screaming deal and thanks to the keen eye of Aunt Angie, are planning on a fun time with family.

Melissa and I are so excited as this will be our first real trip without the kids (thank you Beth and Anna for being so willing to have Hy, Mad, Miles, and Graham stay with you). We are both excited for some rest and relaxation.

The ship's home port is San Diego. We plan on driving down, hopping on the ship, getting in six days of R&R (destination Cabo) and driving back home.


Come on March 6th!

And as a final comment, this is my kind of ship. It has a library!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Personal Thermodynamics

In times of cold
I miser warmth
like gold
and huddling
under shower
beneath extra blankets
clutch it close to my breast

with an extra sweater
I waken spring
wee warm front
and drifts
of softening ice
speak of plants beneath
in slumber ride the storm

till all this kit
so gathered
like coins
and stacked
is all in one day
forgotten in a front
humid air and spring breath

In times of cold
I miser warmth
like gold
and huddling
in the car
beneath heater blast
clutch summer to my breast


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Twenty Four Wise Quotes

1. In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress. -- John Adams

2. If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. -- Mark Twain

3. Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But, then, I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain

4. I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill

5. A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. -- George Bernard Shaw

6. A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man; which he proposes to pay off with your money. -- G. Gordon Liddy

7. Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. -- James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

8. Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. -- Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

9. Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. -- P.J. O'Rourke, Civil Libertarian

10. Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -- Rockwell Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)

11. Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And, if it stops moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Reagan (1986)

12. I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.-- Will Rogers

13. If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free! -- P.J. O'Rourke

14. In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other. -- Voltaire (1764)

15. Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you! -- Pericles (430 B.C.)

16. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. -- Mark Twain (1866)

17. Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it. -- Cullen Hightower

18. The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan

19. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -- Winston Churchill

20. The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin. -- Mark Twain

21. The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. -- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

22. There is no distinctly native American criminal class ... save, Congress. -- Mark Twain

23. What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.-- Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

24. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We just got back from family pictures taken by this lady:

Please keep your eyes peeled for our pictures to show up on her blog in the next few days :)

Thank you Amy for the excellent experience!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You Can't Count on Washington to Wake Up
By Glenn Beck,2933,576465,00.html

Monday, November 23, 2009

wind chapped cheeks
and runny noses
frosted fingers
and numb'ed toeses

the cold has come
to our Utah home
and we bundle up now
before our family roam

and so bless the warm
again inside our door
after snicking the lock
and crossing the floor

it's visqueen'd glass
and insulated trim
a steaming mug
filled up to the brim

the hint of winter
in cool cold days
so many manifestations
spoken so many ways

and fall walks for me
with their spawn'd inflection
warm our twinned hearts
with harvest affection


Saturday, November 21, 2009


tonight I watch the trees dance
in the biting Autumn wind
their branches coaxing spring back
this equinox to rescind

the sunset now is fading
quenching hiss of golden hue
and seagull pinions passing
mark the moment with a mew

how nature with it's motions
marks the gliding of each day
all these regular iterations
round their cosmic fix'ed way

where breadth and ambulation
in these linear ordered things
is this man so glued to timeline
to be cut by graded rings?

now light has bruised to darkness
and the trees are waving on
still I grasp at ringing moments
stirring echoes of a song

if you hear me, God of colors
and can mark my thoughtful cry
grant me eyes of understanding
help me know this changing sky

please remove these lenses darkened
and assuage my suff'ring sigh
you can mend this bit of blindness
with tomorrow's burning eye

Unnamed Psalm

For the distant hills
and the quiet skies
for the colored rills
I thank thee!

for the forest glade
and the mountain stream
for the ocean wade
I thank thee!

for the baby cry
and the table talk
for the loved ones nigh
I thank thee!

for the love of Christ
and the wash from sin
for his sacrifice
I thank thee!

for the breach of death
and the empty tomb
for restoring breath
I thank thee!

for the scope of life
and it's many tasks
for my guiding wife
I thank thee!


Saturday, November 14, 2009


Its the silence I feel first
murmuring flakes falling on my hooded form
I hear nothing save the shivering of my dog
this Saturday morning in late fall
snow has stilled the world
(as it often does)
pausing babel's tongues in reverent wonder.
I stoop to the dormant grass
gentle sussuring, so as to not disturb the cathedral
so new in my back yard
I coax my dog
urgent whispers tinkling the crystalline air
yet he is fix'd on the porch
finding in my puissant crouch instead a challenge to play.
this Boston rarely barks,
instead he snorts
and whuffling his reply
finally comes to me
we squat there on the grass
my hand on his able trembling chest
and listen to the silence of the snow


Friday, November 13, 2009


days like today
make me wonder why
I chose tech support as my career

I am beset by bosses
as callous as demons
and I crack rocks, trapp'd in this hell

oh sure, the pay
it nearly avails the pain
but what of dignity? what then of that?

my soul, the cost
and freedom so spent
is sold for a mere mite and not thirty marks

Yes, work is work~
and a man knows his lot
I work for my own! I do not work for them!

I was proud
in days not far gone
to mark how I worked for the number one

spinning tales
in my veiled ambiguity
allowing others to be jealous of my job

oh the truth!
that this aggregation
this league of folk are truly a clique

and one like I,
mere vendor to their club
could not own full ties nor full rank!

not that I'd
desire initiation
into their club of demons, that evil baptism

insipid familiars
limp grinning goons
they eat my laughter, and in my mouth a stone

their compliments
are maledictions
and every help they proffer bears a hidden blade

how I long for a song
a holy paladin's bard
to pierce their center and cast them screaming!

Back to Abadon!
begone you hell spawn!
Get thee hence into the river Styx and choke!

Mark me oh God
against their besetting
with perfume and oil bind thy talisman to my heart!

vouchsafe this soul
as I walk each day
through shadows, the specters of these archfiends

stay their appetite
still their whip
and alight peace, that dove, firm on my shoulders


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Facets of Leavening

How strange our belief of perpetuity!
that our world
will carry on, just so
after we have tempered it
that our grassy Elysium
cool after the battles
will never suffer weeds~
in truth, the thorns and stones will come again
not much is constant
'cept for God
And His ways seem so strange~
dominion is a s fickle as a track of sand.
and but another pathway to Him
this curious duality of man
light and shadow mixed together
hope and the despair
clarity and blindness
what queer fire this life!
in moments we sense it,
both child and stricken with years
and others, we realize too late
that the locus of control never was ours
we only held it for a time,
stewards of you will~
of a truth, it only belongs to Him
and all these acts
both mundane and deliberate
tumbling in their arc
to precipitate into the bones of being
what strangeness!
taking a handful of clay and shaping a life!
these seeming nothings amplified
to fill the sky
and greater than the stars
more constant, fixed,
than polar eye
and again awake as
children fresh as morning scions
breath of babes
in the cooing cradle of That king

Two haiku:

Errand of Erinyes

silken cords of change
wrapped around each one of us
carefully to hell

Promised Land

new hope springs for me
hidden heart and winters bud
banked against the storm

Glenn Beck commentary on "extemists",2933,574265,00.html


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

bankrupt soul
unhappy world
when will the Gods come?
every day I read pain
pasted on the news
one inflicting
upon another
who cares enough to change?
transmogrify this clay?
bankrupt people
unhappy lives
when will 1984 come?
the true path to peace lies within
and bombs
and odium
cannot breach that stony sanctum
Thou has prepared
a table for me, against them
that trouble me


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Am I Purging the GOP?
by Glenn Beck,2933,571219,00.html

An interesting read on accountability!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Collapsing The System
By Glenn Beck:,2933,570151,00.html

It would be a nightmare come true, but the argument seems to be rational. What is the White House doing to America?


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two haiku:

looking out my kitchen window

first real snow today
and first real cold this autumn
bearded white mountain



burn on my fingers
consequence of impatientce
this hunger within

Vivere disce, cogita mori

What power in the fallen leaf
Or in the piney tomb
What faith makes up the stone’s belief?
Or echo shriveled womb

The empty sky with waning moon
Reflecting the sun’s burn
The echo in the now cold room
His presence and her yearn

This spider’s web of tattered silk
And wasted ear of corn
The aged breast that bears no milk
That wind that shakes the morn

A shrunken skull and grinning mask
With scythe and bony palm
The harvest thresh his final task
That death applied as balm

Where’s the escape from this bleak place
The path we all must trod
If I alone fill this small space
Who plays the part of God?

If man is made to suffer this
If all we are is here
Why bother thoughts for these we’ll miss
Why anything held dear?

There’s power in the fallen leaf
And power in the tomb
The stone believes the stone’s belief
The resurrective womb

Believe for sake of your belief!
The soul is made to live
and binding Gilead balm relief
Is Christ’s alone to give

So carry on though veil of tears!
walk fields of bittersweet
Past roaring vales and quiet fears
To loved ones you will meet!

This here is not all we will be
Nor all that we will feel!
There is another plane to life
One ultimate and real

Bear up the pack of stones so sued
Bind up your thorny side
These God himself did give to you
Chin up, march on with pride!

There is no death in fallen leaf
Nor climax in the tomb
God's faith is what the stone believes
That craftsman of the womb


Thursday, October 22, 2009

"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."
-Albert Einstein

autumn again
and myriad manifestations surround me
the falling leaves outside
and spilling indoors
the harvest orange and yellow and red
these colors spoken in bottled fruit

what change
maturing ellipse through each day
the year strolling on in whispering steps
our earth 'round the sun
warming and cooling, orange and blue
the swing of gravity to the poles

patient canvas
each blade as delicate as placental vellum
the wind ever the artist
and each new beginning bud
from delicate opening to wind dried dropping
the masterwork of the skies

warm sweaters
by whatever etymology or nomenclature
turtleneck or aran, jumper or jersey
these thick woolly knittings speak of autumn
across thick hirsute lips
their blurred speech the mumbling of centuries

autumn again
and all these languages the season speaks
are laid out as evenly as the Rosetta stone
from 'glyphs to Egyptian to Greek
the soft translation of an artisan
colors construed on every medium

8:27 pm

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blair and Leroux

If fairy tales can bring a thought
to teach us all of stench and rot
perhaps those words so penned by men
can wash away the stains of sin
the reddened flag, the crupper winch
will only keep you in it's pinch
it will not lead you to the green
those rolling pastures that you've seen
read on and listen to my tale
of freedom and the great yard sale.

'To Socialism!' the toast
so roaring on
and reverb carried
by crowded throng
the porcine hoof
the blunted snout
rewriting truth
and blotting out

'To Progress!' the call
rolling roughly now
they rape the land
and eat the chow
the furrowed head
considering change
the tweaking cord
the coat of mange

'For Motherland!' the command
so evenly barked
once gathering song
now whippingly snarked
that double chin
and sagging brow
its glutton's sin
who owns us now

'Mutual Ownership!' the goad
and jabbing thrust
to broken side
and shattered trust
those whited fields
and promised wheat
these never came
nor eaten meat

'All Enslaved!' the truth
thus never told
instead of sharing
that communal gold
a leaf rubbed here
and pasted there
the thinnest smudge
to beguile their care

'Hickory Smoked!' the catch
and when so done
so worked to death
under beating sun
the butchers block!
the throat thus slashed
slave blood runs down
at last so cashed

'For Freedom!' the call
that truth so rare
allow the failure
each individual care
own bootstraps straining
upon this soil
for each to achieve
alone they toil

And books of thoughts so fairy-like
begin to take the shape of shrike
their beady eyes, their sharpened beaks
till all we give are weakened shrieks
rise up you fools and tell them no
we'll not have social communes grow
stay free and live, keep free as you die
this all is nothing if you'll not try
be true, be proud, be at liberty now
or you'll be bleeding, that fresh stuck sow.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


twenty-four hours awake
well, twenty-three if that nap in the car counts
thunder and lightning waking me
struck moments of childlike terror and counting
one one thousand, two one thousand, three
yesterday I walked in the morning
today I'll sleep instead;
no liquid light pouring down
that gold is hid by clouds
blue and gray and blue
my gold instead the light of a burning bulb
sixties hood, sixties range,
in this, my old apartment.
twenty four hours awake
well, twenty-three if that nap in the car counts
dreams and illusions speaking to me
percussed moments of lucidity in the madness
one one thousand, two one thousand, three


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I am wondering why we are buying oil from the middle east when we have Alaska and a place like this:

Doesn't it smell fishy that this report is 18 months old and all we hear is so many rants about global warming?

Why not unstopper some of those well caps and help the damn recession by lowering the cost of gas?

Not to mention that we are sending billions of dollars to the middle east.

Share your thoughts...


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Read the commentary by Chris Rock, brilliant!


Oh the convulted financial webs we have woven for this country. I believe a great growing pain will have to visit us before we can pull our heads out of our collective arses.

Pray for us folks, God is still listening.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Bell and Gorecki

Reprisal; I struggle to find one tonight
and emptied out of my selfishness, feel pity
only pity. and a smear of self-loathing
brush strokes across this canvas
a million points and strokes,
twenty five years of this thorn!

I wish my malaise were outward
instead of this inward
that I had leprosy, and decaying,
would walk amongst you all with a bell
welded 'round my neck
A chanson of elegy 'unclean, unclean!'

The Son of Man descended below all
am I greater than He? Nay, never! Nay~
yet this stone of years,
this great miller's masonry
these comminutes wear at my soul.
Paul too, had a hidden thorn

One that God only knew
The woman with an issue of blood
the Bible is rife with example
and life is rife~
I've not lost a limb to landmine
nor been gassed in a chamber

Or my little ones torn away.
Why then this pain at these pains?
Boo! I would shoo the demon I feel lurking
had I any compulsory power
his flitting shadows which darken my light
darken my glass.

When will I see face to face?
what day my sadness transmogrified?
If Christ unwrapped the shroud
rolled back the stone
and stood
then so should I, at least try to emulate

Despite the fact that he knows every tomfoolery of mine
every wound implicitly,
He's felt each muttered curse, each selfish sneak,
the ill stench from the midden pile of my life
full in his nose when he faced the garden,
the lash, the thorn, the cross.

How could He bear it?
He bore it without reprisal.
Speaking nothing, except for others
'Mother, behold thy son' and 'Father forgive them'
How I would have worn my voice away in curses at those Centurions!
railing out in my anger that they could not defeat me

That I would be dead but awaiting in Elysium
with a gladius in hand to administer their second death!
Christ changed all that, took all the ills
the bloodletting, the whoredoms, the deceit
He took it all
bore a weight greater than that atlas could ever tire of

shouldering these finite squabblings from finite menin His infinity;
these pains counted down to the mite~
and changing the brush strokes, ever so subtly
turning the sin He bought and knew to His bones,
into a masterpiece

That leper's bell thrown unneeded to the dust!
That hem for my issue of blood to be healed!
Those forceps for this thorn to be pulled!
This roof thus opened, and I let down into His midst!
Those demons commanded to swine and the sea! and
This garden to plant a mustard seed.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Picasso and the Hand of God

these days of despair
when quailing, my heart ventures out
I half expect some tragedy
to come in to my home and destroy.
Each day a chorus of news paints pictures
of gristly scenes, twisted in anguish~
Guernica is everywhere, everywhere,
and so many saviors carrying standards
their great flapping flags concealing spears, swords,
so quick to light the crucible and heat the branding iron
where is my Gaugamela?
who will be my Alexander?
I would to God that it was Christ in a blood red robe,
parting the sky, cleaving the mount
in my mind He looks as a Bloch painting does
yet the scriptures tease that we would not know him
Is this the God who will still my quavering soul?
The one who would calm the tremors, still the shrillness?
May it be!
Man carries on into darkness, clouded
hopes pinned on a revolution, a socialization;
bleak despair and dark hopelessness are opposing millstones
and grind without measure~
my only hope vouched in a faith unscientific--
that paper and ink carry the weight of God!
Perhaps Freud would say it's merely projection;
that I, and others, have repressed desires
but I'd rather my implications than the war to the teeth.
I'd rather my delusions than the darkness.
these days of despair
when quailing, my heart ventures out
half expecting a tragedy
a flower springs up beside these broken swords.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the hypothetical harvest

I was contemplating fruit as I watered tonight
the fall air, the fall grass
biting cool on my naked feet
I have been tending two still-new vines
coaching them along the links of the fence
teasing the tendrils to curl into iron grip
both are in their third season
and still fruitless
will I eat my fruit?
will I trim my vines?
the canadice will bear first, I hope
but the thompson is far too spindly
far too stunted
There will be no fruit from that'n
I should yank it and plant another in it's stead
and while we're back on fruit
I wonder who will be picking from my two vines
come fifty years, when I am old and close to the grave myself
will you eat my fruit?
will you trim my vines?
Time has a way of wearing things out, grinding them down
will these rundown apartments still be here
still neglected, and all the more dilapidated?
without a doubt, the methheads will burn the high rises down again
perhaps the next time will be for good
jealous fire taking them entire to the foundations~
or will my dystopian thoughts never bear seed?
True to God, I hope they never sprout, my thoughts.
If it were up to me, the lamb and the lion would lay down tonight
not the empty bedfellows of man and his constructs
who will eat my fruit?
who will trim my vines?
will this place even matter in fifty years?
will the dirt be as worn out as the walls, the roofs, the windows
will the children still play in the streets?
I wish they all learned gardening in school
to link them to the soil.
when I die, don't bury me in a velveteen crate
hiding my preserved remains, an apology in a box,
lie me down in the heart of the fat black soil
where William Sycamore can find me.
please trim my vines
please eat my fruit
and think of the one you'll never know
this antecedent gardner

Crazy, by Gnarls Barkley

Songwriters: Burton, Brian Joseph; Callaway, Thomas Decarlo; Reverberi, Gian Piero; Reverberi, Gianfranco;

I remember when, I remember
I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions have an echo in so much space

And when you're out there without care
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?

And I hope that you are
Having the time of your life
But think twice
That's my only advice

Come on now, who do you
Who do you, who do you, who do you think you are?
Ha ha ha, bless your soul
You really think you're in control?

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart
To lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember
Is thinking, I want to be like them

Ever since I was little
Ever since I was little
It looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

But maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy

And so you can hear it:


Saturday, September 19, 2009

deus nobis haec otia fecit

We shall only hitch our ride but once
and review it again if the rumors are true;
this seat we straddle, with it's time worn cantle
and the reverberating calliope sound
is a carousel circling round and around
and we each have a seat on this thing.
Call it merry-go-round or carousel
traveling up and down, circling to the left
it is color and noise and light
with each creature affixed to it's brazen poles,
as we settle in each place for the ride.
And running on, our time cleanly marked,
the length of each ride so diff'rent for each
We stay till we're bidden to exit,
these motions all set to the pipe organ song.
It seems so to me, this life that we lead
in these circles set down by our God
that the moments we have and the minutes we share
are for purpose, graver than carnival barking.
That their inference, not always so clear~
and if off and away, beyond these obscuring mirrors
we lift from these circling rotes
and stepping down from the platform, meet the maker
He might just wear overalls and an old button shirt,
a greasy rag hanging from His hip pocket
We'll talk of the constructs that were our life
of that merry go round where we lived;
as we sit on the midway with sweating lemonades in hand.
He'll both laugh and be grave in turn,
the way a man does, full of years
looking back on the time He has wrought,
and perhaps He'll explain why he built it at all
as we sip our lemonade and talk
under the shade of a great sycamore
our seat a bench just to the side of that ride
watching us all from the corner of His eye.

O Rise, all loyal Cougars and hurl your challenge to the foe.
You will fight, day or night, rain or snow.
Loyal, Strong, and True
Wear the White and Blue.
While we sing, get set to spring.
Come on Cougars, it's up to you!

O Rise and Shout, the Cougars are out
Along the trail to fame and glory.
Rise and shout, our cheers will ring out,
As you unfold your vict'ry story.
On you go to vanquish the foe
For Alma Mater's sons and daughters.
As we join in song, in praise of you, our faith is strong.
We'll raise our colors high in the blue,
And cheer the Cougars of BYU.

GO BLUE tomorrow!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ode to an Orb

Sirius is bright in the sky this morn
and I am wide awake
I should be breathing, peaceful, deep,
supine, by my wife and our four-month-old.
Instead I sit, keeping lonely vigil with a sphere
I can see it through the kitchen window
bobbing my head to make it appear
otherwise hiding in it's shyness behind the eaves.
Ho bright orb, you double struck suns
the same who's influenced the earth for aeons;
closest star, so pulling in proximity
ancient man said you were the dog
and could weaken and arouse, strike and malign--
but you and I share the waxing dawn together,
every dawn these many weeks
I waiting, facing the east for God
or God knows what,
your patient bightness a flash of white in the dark
that black into gray and blue
the quickening lines of the sky behind
the deeper muting of the peaks, what a trio we three make.
My orb, the stones, and the sky;
I watch until you are swallowed up in the Sun
your crystal eye blind to my fleshy one, lost until another night.
Come sweet sleep, come wrap me in your velvet arms,
come dreams and syanpses firing at random~
those whimsies feighning, this writer's dreams.
Still each morning I have this star, this summer friend,
fixed as Keats would wish him to be;
'Lo Canis Major, my dogged gyre in the sky!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I have had this song in my head tonight. The lyrics are still applicable today these 29 years later:

Canary in a Coalmine (by the Police)

First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect
Your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect
You live you life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line

You say you want to spend the winter in firenza
Youre so afraid to catch a dose of influenza
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line

Canary in a coalmine

Now if I tell you that you suffer from delusions
You pay your analyst to reach the same conclusions
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line

Canary in a coalmine

First to fall over when the atmosphere is less than perfect
Your sensibilities are shaken by the slightest defect
You live your life like a canary in a coalmine
You get so dizzy even walking in a straight line

Canary in a coalmine

And the video/music:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Excellent article I read today from syndicated columnist Star Parker:

Let me know what you think


Monday, September 14, 2009

this life is a dream
and we the dreamers swimming
both bearded babe and youthful old man
where is the truth?

that veil, this lfe
and these cynics shrilling
hollow in their anger at a disproved God
how is their truth?

What dreams this life!
so hopeful these stories, boyish hope
twinned as this man who walks
where is my truth?

And thick this fancy,
music so painted with soaring ambition!
I dreamt today of Cerin Amroth
this mound is the truth

where ends, this life?
where my Haven awaiting such as I
no ringbearer, just a simple shieldman
Is all this the truth?

We live on, this dream
the nodding simbelmynë marking white
solid actuality, laid to rest
old bones the truth

This life is the dream
and we the salmon swimming it
this urge to move upriver, leaving others
there is the truth

what memories this dream!
the ungarded left flank
the bleeding and broken souls and souls
how old is the truth

no waking this dream
the pinch does not shake
nor the violent death by the mallorn
so universal is truth

and slip to the dream
my heart equally buried
at both wounded knee and lothlorien
the strange way of truth

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Comfortable With Respect to the Weather

The hounds of fall have been baying
at the door, the roof, all day.
I feel summer sneaking away into coolness
her skirts rustling the green grasses
'till she's another memory of times past.
and yet
I find myself awake from my nap of hours
my hibernation of spirit, that near-drowning feel
the eternal pause for a crack in the chrysalis
Awaken tropical breezes!
the sound of ukulele, of Olelo Hawai'i
I care not for the buffeting of the eaves
nor note the rattling of the windows
my roof is thatched tonight,
stilted in the tanzanite blue of Moorea
the moon clean and honest in the sky
her freshly washed face
not hid by scudding clouds.
I smell the breath of my love
hibiscus and honey~
my pockets filled by these sands
black and white, black and white.


Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th Eight Year Anniversary

What a strange anniversary to remember. I was sleeping this time eight years ago, and woke at 9-ish to my roommate, yelling at me to come watch the TV. The first plane had struck the first tower, and we had no idea it was a conspiracy of terrorists, nor that three other planes were involved. We sat down and watched TV for days straight, trying to piece together the breadth of the thing. It was immense.

We mourned with everyone in this country for those lives lost. Those days were bleak and stand out in my recollection for their solemnity. People came together and mourned openly, photographs of the terror, the service; the hardened 'fuck you' nature of the New Yorkers broken, crying, bleeding. This transmogrification touched our hearts. I felt like I cried every one of those days, wondered at the horror all felt, bewildered with the blatant disregard for life.

Surely those moments were akin to the end of the world. Surely the thoughts we had were filled with fire and smoke, with plunging from high up on a building, our bodies too breaking in great booming strikes, the sound of the bodies falling from the towers our own.

I find today that I have in me a strange hope. These terrors, so well documented on TV, this death replayed a thousand times, a mini war of hell fought by civilians. despite all these murders, I hope. I hope that terror will not find root in a child form Afghanistan or Iraq. That they will turn away from the bleak nothingness of extremism. I hope for us as a nation, that we will not let the bright light dim, that we will shine as example to the world that we will rise up, we will hope, we will stride forward. We are scarred from that day, and it has become a holy day for the loss of life, for the courage shown, for the unity we felt.

Here's to a country still trying to find itself, in may ways, this eight years later. May God direct us, may we honor Him, may we honor those who serve this country virtuously, and may a tragedy like this never happen again.

On a brighter note, GO COUGARS tomorrow! What better way to see hope than in the Collegiate hopeful. Dream big boys, this world is yours.

And with that I am going to bed. Goodnight you humans, this night walker is sleepy. :)


Saturday, September 05, 2009

Way to play tonight Cougars! Defense, I am proud of you. Pendleton and Clawson you played a great game. Kariya you were a monster, Pitta you and Hall were clutch.

Most of all I am proud of the D. You guys delivered tonight. Thank you for the memories of this game!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Megalithy As Example

We say we want to change
this world, our law, the socks
but baited, we wait~
sarsen, lodged in supposition

We say we need the change
this weight, wake early, be happy
but really, our hope so~
trilithons, balanced all precarious

We say we long for change
this job, new places, the travel
but senseless, to leave~
bluestone, convenience too near

We think alone we'll change
this island, our singularity, so exclusive,
but truthful, what isolation~
heelstone, aloofness and closeness

We move devoirs to change
this cerebration, our regards, the ideation
but how, we need it~
orthostats, marking the heavens


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've been a bit stressed today. Everything is piling up, yet I am turning from frustration (making a conscious choice) and finding solace in my blog. Despite what connotations bankruptcy carries, isn't that the truest form of being a steward? Ultimately accepting responsibility at the utmost level?

My thoughts were jumbled earlier; convoluted with visions of my pending bankruptcy, the frustrations and allusions of financial failure
from calling all the loan folks, from realizing I only own a single TV (freshly broken and irreplaceable), and the overwhelming bleak outlook of being a bankrupt young thirty-something who should be courting success instead of this.

My thoughts turn inexplicably to optimism. I mean, haven't people blown their own brains out over stuff like this? Yet, despite these macabre suppositions, I find myself thinking objectively. I find myself writing paragraphs like the one below. I find hope in myself and my wife and kids. This too shall pass.

My overwhelming thought:

The thing about mania is proximity; either how close you are to a situation or how closely you are observing the same situation. If you can leverage taking a step back long enough to grab a few breaths of unpolluted air, it can force perspective. A clearer head will prevail; proximity is never a lasting situation, even in death.

-Jay Blair

Friday, August 21, 2009

And Thus We See Applied Force's Infirmity

I seem the impotent man, and bound!
utterly fettered by both rule and your opinion
continually ousted by your compulsive thoughts.
whetted witticisms undercutting my legs

so what if my truth is not your truth?
and what matter if my ability the half of yours?
this malaise is my own, neither bought nor sold
and it works in my milieu, works in my world.

You all are not I and gratefully
neither am I swallowed up in your ownership
what a prison each would make of one anothers flesh
what hellish steps would be those shoes.

Perhaps this is the great sin
that issue that angels trip'd and fell over
their tumbling from grace. possession and compulsion
a third the hosts itched to own you and I.

Be free! I'll not manage you to death or distinction.
Achieve either on your own.
man is free, I am merely a magistrate;
let your amplitude play out over God's marten stage.

Break and be broken if you will
your daily small cuts, but tiny nothings, all sewn up
stitches standing out in neat surgical precision
tidy black on skin, they disintegrate when healed

both scars and rules are made and unmade
-yet nothing is so great as God-
He is the last executor of will, so be still!
today is not the last, nor the greatest.

If we are creatures who live beyond this veil
what false notions we must own about work.
how tiring this life! Will an eternity of rest
be the salve to still the throbbing bunion?

What if our next life is not avoidance of fatigue
but one where we relay the truth behind creature,
gently prodding folks that sin leads to Savior?
that at the root of all things, these lead to God?

If we were to now but sit and draw in the dirt
when the stones are gathered and raised
perhaps we'd realize bullshit is merely that.
only God can judge, He and none else.

And some are the times when He would sew up
wounds, pouring in oil. Perhaps other times
staying His hand and allowing the bomb, the fire,
the flaming sword wielded by the angel at the tree.

This life has nothing tiny, all is significant
and consuming anger is really but a sting, a stone
awaiting to be flung. Qumran! Let my stones be
flung away and my jars be unearthed.

If canopic, allow them to be. They carry my heart
they carry anointing oil, they carry scented herbs.
Let God restore and heal; let Him mark my brow
let the my soul be unstoppered and all poured out!

Let the poor and the bankrupt all sit and sup
Let the grievances be allayed, the cacchination
be subdued, the false pride be corrected.
My God will rule evenly in the end, mark'd and fair.

My God will make a place to sit,
on that plateau where he marks his meal,
and at that chair, that symbol lost again is drawn,
bridegroom's feast! Thieves and beggars at both elbows!

So mock on, my friends. My anger is now dried up
this manager is no Simon the sorcerer.
My odium at your work is gone
and the compelling power I longed for is freely surrendered to God.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am suffering from identity crisis. As of today I am no cyclist, but on the other side of the Jay-spectrum I am no biker either. The two worlds I was once part of have passed me by--I am selling my Harley, and haven't ridden my bicycle really much at all in the last three years.

I rode today. I squeezed into a too-small shirt, modestly covered my too small cycling shorts with a pair of baggy cargo's, and pedaled 16.08 miles from my home up to Bridal Veil Falls and back. Today I spent 1 hour of time cruising at an average of 15.8 mph on my black Specialized Allez road bike.

When it comes to aches and pains, my right knee hurt first but then worked it's way to smoothness by mile 3. My left knee and left ankle hurt the entire time, but I took it easy and cruised. They were tolerable. It is hard to describe the stance on a road bike, but it can make you grimace--the muscles on the back of my head were starting to ache, and I remembered to relax my ears to make it go away. It is funny the things which can come back.

My overall speed was fairly laughable. My max speed was 28.5 due to a long downhill, and made me remember being skinny, more so than the ill-fitting shorts did.

Now, this whole identity thing is a bit of conundrum to me. I rode bicycles quite seriously for a decade, only hanging them up in the garage when I got my first motorcycle back in July 2006. I suppose it was the fact that I was on to a new thing, but I gave up the cycling for motorcycling.

Fast forward 3 years and one bankruptcy later. I am 15 lbs heavier and don't exercise a tenth what I used to.

Today was a revelation. I remembered how much I like the little things about cycling--the way a turn can be taken in a graceful arc, the feel of the pedal stroke, the sound of the wind in my ears, the incredible lightness of being after a climb, and mostly that special washed out clean feeling after exercising for an hour.

Truly, there is nothing quite like it, and I intend to continue this renaissance of my cycling passion.

Don't really have any way to succinctly tie this up; perhaps with a suggestion? If you haven't ridden a bicycle in a few years, get out and try it. You just might remember why you liked it as a kid.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Day at PCCI Plasma

I neglected to tell them of a pierced ear from thirteen years ago. That's my sin.

First a little background to the story. I have gone to two different plasma centers in the past decoade. I started back in 2002 when Melissa and I needed some extra money, and Alpha Plasma Center on Center Street in Provo (now closed) saved our bacon. I'd donate twice a week and it helped put food on the table.

Fast forward a few years, to 2007, and to PCCI, a plasma center located behind Sizzler on State Street in Orem. I started going again for much the same reason, earn some extra money to feed my family. They are pleasant, helpful, offer a service that helps bring money to me. It was a mutually beneficial relationship.

When they originally screen their applicants, they gather all sorts of information. They ask you questions from a questionnaire, give a physical, and keep charts of you. They may ask: have you ever been or traveled to Europe? The Moon? Had KJD, KGB, CNN, or ESPN? Had sex with a man, had sex for money, had sex with a golf shoe, touched a immunization site of someone who has a hepatitis vaccine, murdered vegetables and drunk of their blood; and are you aware you should report symptoms of west Nile virus for up to six hundred weeks after having them? Yes I am being a smart ass on some of their questions. I am angry tonight, as I just got permanently deferred because of a damn questionnaire.

Never mind the fact that I refer people to their location, have no diseases, donate regularly, never tamper with their machines, and never tell one of the phlebotomists to go shove that needle up their own arm when I get stuck wrong and bleed all over the place. I am the perfect donor, or was until 45 minutes ago.

No, I neglected to tell them in a recent second physical that I had pierced ears in 1996. Thirteen years ago. Most of their donors and their lab techs were five when that happened. Never mind the fact that I told them originally and it is still in my damn paperwork. Never mind that they ask in the daily questionnaire if you have had any piercings or tattoos in the last six months. No, I signed something saying I had answered correctly to the best of my ability. I didn't see the fine print that I was to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. They didn't even give me a Bible to swear on! That fine print was their clause that if untruthful I could be permanently deferred.

On snap! I also forgot to tell them about another major surgery I had. I was circumcised when I was a day old. Holy batshit! Run for the hills! My plasma MUST BE INFECTED (never mind the fact that additional screening sets the standard that I am clean). They think this one is a compulsive liar, so I must be lying about everything else. Let's permanently defer him!

Yes, to add further insult to injury, to rub salt into the smarting wound, all their plasma products are tested for disease every time, no exceptions. They are screened before being made into medicine, otherwise any blood-borne pathogen carrying person could donate, regardless of past history, and resultant products (to be given to other people) be damnned.

Why was I asked to talk to their manager? Because this rule is set up to make a point. They are telling me 'You lied. You neglected to mention in your re-examination that you had piercings. We already know this as you told us before, but our bureaucratic bullshit knee jerk rule is there because once upon a time we would take any crack-whore or junkie off the street. Our rules keep us from making an exception'.

So, donor beware. They want your plasma, but if you overlook anything, your ass is deferred permanently. To illustrate a point, even the collateral consequences of a misdemeanor are gone after five years. This is for life. For missing a single question.

Jay, you may be asking yourself, why not just go to another place? Plasma centers are springing up like fungi after rain. Why not go to Joe's Plasma just around the corner?

The killer here is the permanent deferral. They now think my blood and blood products are suspect. Because I neglected to tell them what they already had record on. You heard it, already had record on!

And THAT is why I am angry.

I am clean, willing, and need the money. But they apparently do not give a flying fark about that.

As I said above, donor beware. I am now logged in a national database as unable to donate. Don't you just love corporate knee jerk rules?

This donor is going to keep his plasma, thank you very much. And the plasma center can shove their rules (and their needles, forms, and bureaucracy) straight up their collective asses.


Vampires! Zombies! Tech Support Managers!

I've just woken up from the best sleep of my life. If you can imagine for a moment one of those sleep number bed commercials meeting a near death coma, you'd be pretty close to the sleep I had today. It was like that.

I am a night shift manager at a tech support firm. I have nearly twenty guys who regularly come bounce questions off me, and we are busy 364 days a year (Christmas seems to be the only holiday allowing respite). I have zero chance of sleeping on the job. And if you add to that fact that I am married and have four children, the marvelous sleep I had today feels like it should be important. More important than anything else, right?

It is true, I do own some black-out curtains, and my wife is a near-saint in the fact that she allows me to rest in as quiet an environment as possible. I won't try ear-plugs, living in the near-ghetto, and I absolutely abhor sleep masks; the end result is that I get something akin to half sleep.

Like today, she took all four of our amazing children to her sisters to sew. The kids went out back and played their little legs off (what with it being summer and school being out still), and daddy slept in till 4:30. Nine hours of solid sleep! Heaven's Bliss! I haven't slept nine hours like that since I was an infant. And I should know, I've kept a journal for years.

The only trouble with my deep and utter coma, my blessed boneless slumber, was that I had a mandatory make-up session meeting with upper management at work. Did I mention it was mandatory, and make up?

Yup, I slept through the last one three months ago. Slept straight through it like Rip Van Winkle, oblivious that two miles away some corporate type folks in kakhis and collared shirts were gathering in blue fabric chairs around an oval table, and discussing.

I woke up this afternoon, knowing I was supposed to do something. I should have been tipped off by the dreams I was having--they were frantic and involved an impossoble task. I call them naturs alarm clock. I realized, after looking at the time, that I'd done it again. I wondered at the quiet home, noting the whir of the fans instead of the bedeviling noises from three older siblings which I am so accustomed to sleeping to.

Horrified, I reached for my phone, but it was nowhere near. I searched the dresser, my bed, the bathroom, every nook of the house. I found it in my laptop bag. There it sat, shinily vibrating, left there after my ride home this morning. It was safe in it's cocoon, oscillating away furiously. I had both voicemail and a text message from 15 minutes after the meeting start asking where the *#$! I was.

I replied to that text, properly identifying where I was and asking if I still had a job to come back to. Who knows what this meeting was for, it could have been secret plans for taking over the world, and I missed out. The paradigm is that it was just as easily the plans for new scented urinal cakes in the men's room. I'll not get into the strange phenomenon of the quarterly meeting.

Now, lest you think me a slugabed, and one who periodically sleeps through gainful employment, recall that I am a graves shift manager. That's right, I work when most American humans are sleeping. My world is the polar opposite of yours. I take escalation calls from people across the dateline, and I am up and at 'em till most of you are just rubbing the sleep from your eyes, pouring youself a cup of joe, and scratching. It is then that I pack up my gear, put on my bike helmet, and pedal home for my bed.

Like I said, opposites. I talk to folks like Long Duck Dong in Korea, and Doobie Sellers in Adelaide (no lie). The night shift is entertaining; between my sleep deprived engineers and the international UNIX engineers we speak to, no day is mundane.

I am no vampire, despite the fact that I often claim I am infected with the night walker bacillus. I need my sleep. It's precious to come by, and if the studies are to believed my serotonin receptors are a bit jacked by my sleeping during the day. I walk about mostly tired all the time, like a zombie.

Last Sunday in Salt Lake, there was a second convention of zombie walkers. Amazing! Before this I never would have believed that many grave shift workers existed in the state.

I read the following this monrnig and it has stuck with me. Very interesting we conservatives are being called un-American. Also of interest is that the protests being made are still being called artificial (remember the same thing being touted back in April during Tea parties?)

Let me know what you think.



This also was an interesting read:

This is absolutely the most cool thing I have seen in a while in regards to bicycles. I had a co-worker message it to me, and opened it wondering what the latest greatest carbon-whiz wunder gadget he was linking me to. My jaw dropped, and I just had to share it out to you all.

Renovo, located in Portland Oregon, is making beautiful and functional wooden framed rigs. What? Yes, you heard me correctly. Wooden Framed Bicycles. They are doing it and they are engineered to last. Don't believe me? Read on:

True, they carry a $2300 price tag, and that's more than most folks would pay for a lifetime's worth of bicycles; I have owned a nice bike before and all I can say is they're worth every penny. The bikes in my life have run the gamut of a gas pipe stingray in my youth, to an S-Works Enduro, and everything in between. They have all been fun to ride, but the sweet costly ones are a joy to ride, and this little beauty would be a joy too. I can already tell.

It is true, you do have to be a little crazy to get a thing like this. But, to help shed a little light on being me, and the mania which makes me up, I am posting tonight's link. I deem this a thing of uber-coolness.

If I had a million dollars, I would definitely have one of these in my stable. And all it took for me was one look at that sweeping top tube. The extra fact that the thing can not only dish, but take licks is bonus.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Writing exercise 8/11/09

He was led to a non-descript cell by just one person, a woman in her thirties dressed in a robe. He knew it was an experiment, had known it when he woke to see this place, verifed it when he'd seen how strange it was, how alien. He'd been through the therapies before, dozens of them in his years as prisoner. He knew there were cameras hidden in the walls, affirmed by the confident way the woman strolled on ahead; her back and the blank walls verifying it.

They came to a door, a non-descript wooden thing which had no visible joints, and no handle. The woman turned and regarded him, her face sober but not overly so; he noted her eyes were blue with a tinge of green and they appeared yellow in places.

"This is where you will stay"

The man did not answer, merely looked around the vesibule ouside the door ; the blank walls, the door, noticed for the first time that the whispering of the slippers he wore was from a blank stone floor. Some sort of slate, he decided.

The woman touched the door, and it swung open to a small lit room with the same blank walls, but a high lit ceiling; the sort of ceiling that gave the impression of sky, despite the fact that it was only a dozen or so feet or so above the stone floor. She had stepped in ahead of him, fearless, and upon turning around was studying his eyes as he came into in the room and took it all in.

There was a simple cot, of the same fine material and workmanship as the door. He could see no joining marks, and the grain and color was dark and smooth. Both appeared oiled, it was the only word that he could describe, and were scratch and mark free. The same floor also had accompanied him in, but he could see no toilet, no sink, and no mirror.

Cocobolo. It had come to him, from the depths of his memory. The door and bed were made from cocobolo, and were worth a fair sum. Most folks who worked in the wood made it into gun or knife handles--he had never heard of someone using it for furniture or doors.

The woman was regarding him, having remained in the same spot, each of her hands clasped calmly in front of her at about waist height. He could see her naked wrists, and her steady breathing as she stood, patiently, waiting, expectant of his possible questions.

But he knew how the game worked. He ignored the woman now, laying down on the cot in the direction facing away from her. The wall met his eyes, and he pulled his knees bent and tucked them up into his chest, pulling at his own robes as he did so.

He hated to admit it, but there was a part of him which was terrified. He struggled to throttle the gibbering madman part of hiself into silence. Granted, this place was different from all the others, and he had grown accustomed to the routine of prisons. But this place was not bad, per se. This place was just plaing odd. What place didn't give a man a toilet? What place issued robes a man could hang himself with, not that there were any place to fix the noose on the smooth walls. What place allowed solo women guards? In any other place, that was asking for trouble.

The woman, sensing his desire to be left alone, turned for the door, again placing her back to wards him. He grit his teeth in anger, and shut his eyes, refusing her.

If he could have seen what she did he would have been even more astonished at the place he had been moved; she stroked the edge of the door and whispered to it, lips moving but no sound coming forth. The door trembled and went still again; she walked through the doorway and it swung silently shut behind her without the echo of a lock slamming home.

He swung back to the prone position, stretching out in the bed to feel it's ends. He couldn't touch, and decided that the bed was very nice. His eyes were drawn again to the ceiling, to the diffuse light. The ceiling appeared painted light blue, and the light appeared to pass through the blue; lighting like that didn't exist in a prison. Perhaps at the Bellagio hotel, but never in a hell-hole.

He longed to try the door and see if these people had locked him in.

Who were these people? Were they going to do, experiment on him? Perhaps his latest escapade had been too much and someone had realized he was beyond rehabilitation. If it were Roman times, he would have been led to the gladatorial tournaments.

His skin appeared as clean as he'd ever seen it, they had even lasered off his tattoos; the ink removed without so much as a mark. Why the pampering if they were just going to slam him full of drugs and monitor the outcomes?

He'd had the letters HATE on his left hand and FEAR on the right, and they were gone. Only smooth skin wrapped his knuckles. Since the room was absent a mirror, he wondered at his face. He wanted to touch it, yet refrained from doing so, knowing they wre watching. He'd had a red tear drop of blood and a screaming skull drawn there, and imagined his face with them absent. Perhaps that was why the woman had looked at him with no fear? They had been tools of intimidation before, and in places like prison one needed all the help one could get. He doubted he could find another guy in this place like the last one who'd inked him.

He turned again to his side, to the side of the bed pressed agains the wall, and closed his eyes to try and sleep.
The Girl Who was Phylliidae

I thought this evening of crickets
while walking in to work, and despite
my shuffling feet I heard them calling in the sycamores
their monklike drone broken by the random click of katydids

How fragile their lives!
only a few weeks to live, to die
their recollections consisting of tonight,
and perhaps through buggy hum, a glimpse of last night

What makes up reality for them?
their single song of summer carries on
before the darkening of eye, silencing of voice
how then the private hell the cased cicada must feel!

I thought again of crickets;
after a colleague shared sad news
a missing nephew on a business trip, and
for three days, his future wife in a cocoon of grief

today they found him
he and his brother and father
in a shattered shell of a plane, lost to the trees
the broken chrysalis, and all their pennon souls departed!

life so newly remembered as fragile~
filled moments so normal as to take for mundane
these are the days to sing, our days each so rare
how hard it is to find the Phylliidae for the leaves.

And now she hides, green fronds over face
while the sun beats down in polar summer closeness
the crickets are all still in the stifling heat, waiting
as over in a sister tree we hear the call of a mourning dove.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

I've just finished watching Roman Holiday. Melissa and I sat together and watched it on the Mac in our room, our 2 month old son sleeping on the floor in his car seat. About two-thirds through it, she fell asleep and I wondered at the moment--an old black-and-white romantic movie playing, my wife and I together, and she falling asleep. It felt remarkable, and seemed like a Norah Ephron moment; felt like it should belong in Sleepless in Seattle, if only for the strange similarity. Occasionally, Melissa'd snore slightly (very womanly snoring mind you), and I would in turn kiss her to get her to stop. Now, lest my wife read this and believe she is renown for her log-sawing prowess, this only happened two other times tonight, for a sum total of three incidents. And her snoring only seems to happen when the light is on and it is late--direct tie-ins to the nights I keep her up far past her bedtime watching some TV show or movie. I've never felt it necessary to complain, and am not doing so now. This is merely anecdotal, and honey when you read this, you know I love you.

The last time I watched this movie was in 1996 with Craig Whetten and Kristy Adams in Mr. Barth's Film History class. I was a senor in high school, and was so far detached from the antagonist in this film that I could scarcely relate to most of it. I remember Audrey Hepburn's character sleeping on the street and that is about it. Poor Mr. Barth, I do believe most of my essays were complete and utter crap on most of the films we watched. If only to go back and carry on the intelligent conversation I know we could have had! If only I had granted the attention then I would willingly give now. Time and space separate the boy I was and the man I have become.

I shall say do believe I took much more from it this viewing; I found myself laughing at moments, and in others enjoying the local flavor of a post-war Italy and it's bustle. The scene when she leaves his apartment and he tails her unobserved is fantastic. The other moment I found myself compelled by was the final scene when Gregory Peck walks away, the lone man in a great empty room and ll we hear are his footfalls and the music's crescendo. He pauses to look back, astonished at the singular occurrence of this blossoming what-if love, and realizing that he will never be able write about it, only wishing he could; perhaps believing he will one day when they are old and the time long past.

Perhaps this thought of mine is tied in from the Hemingway I have been reading as of late. In not only The Snows of Kilimanjaro but also Fathers and Sons the author straight out speaks of stories we can never tell while the living subjects of those stories are still among us. I find the tie in of that theme quite compelling.

The other aspect of the story I really enjoyed was the fact that he gave his angle up willingly. Here he had the perfect setup, fully justifiable by the fact that he wanted/needed to get back to the states, and the tell-all story he intended to publish would land him there. This was a girl he could leverage to meet his ends, the golden opportunity landing in his lap. Instead he finds the soul in the Princess; puts a face to the headline, feels the warmth of the smile, learns of the passion and longing despite the weight of responsibility. He cannot bring himself to do it and we identify because we too find the human sides of things in our lives. We identify because we have done the same in some small way in our lives.

As Gregory Peck's character gave these advantages away, for love no less, we are given a sense that this is what we should be required to do. That when we are the outside observer, looking in on a life we know little about, if only we could allow ourselves to get to know that person--walk a mile as the adage goes--we would understand them. And understanding changes people.

I could write about so many aspects of this film. The fact that it was Hepburn's first is very interesting to me--she carries off so many films for me because she has this strange girl-like innocence, as if she were my own daughter grown (strange thought that as she is more of an age with my grandmother, and yet how film lends immortality!). The scenes of her longing to sleep with just a pajama top or *gasp* in the nude, the covering of herself while fully clothed after she'd come to herself and realized she was in a strange room with a strange man. These all lend to that aspect of the innocence.

And it all fits in with the time. If you note, the antagonist's buddy was a photographer of pin-up girls. What were they doing? Showing their legs. Where did you go circa 1953? Could you lend a bit of yourself to these days here?

In closing, I am going to jump back to the end of the film, to that same irresistible final shot. So many stories are told in film, and in print, with a strange tidy wrapping-up of the plot. The Guy and the Gal surmount the odds and get married, the wounded recovers and comes back to life. Why? What reason is this? Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?

Real life has people passing as ships; reality does not resurrect the man from a mortal wound, nor place far-fetched potentialities as the end result. Reality is so often placed out of touch and we buy into it, whole hearted, wanting the resolution, even expecting that all will be well by the end of the piece. Perhaps it is the day we live in; that not a news-report goes by without a violent crime spelled out in the papers, the evening news, or online. And we escape to the movies in droves to show life as it should be. Not as it is. We shove off reality for fantasy as an escape.

While Peck is walking down the empty corridor, and the music swells up, he half turns, expectant. For a moment our hearts are caught in our throats; Audrey Hepburn's character has shown she will no longer be the child taking the orders. She demonstrates thus when she returns to the mansion of her own free will and volition. She even tells her staff this, revealing her new found maturity, and dismisses them to their rooms, punctuating this by refuting the milk and crackers (an object of childhood if I have ever seen one).

Could she in fact leave the room to which she departed with staff in tow after the press conference? Could she run into the arms of the man she obviously in that moment loves? We are led to believe so, for a split second, but then Gregory Peck's character, now the reformed antagonist, now the foil, realizes she'll not be walking out the door. Perhaps the tiny consolation of "She'll always have Rome to remember" carries him forward. And so he turns, walking back to the life he leads and carrying the ideas of his story which he can never tell.

And that to me is worth writing about.

Mr. Barth, I apologize my essay for this most excellent film is being written thirteen-and-a-half years too late.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Savage

Tonight I've had a vision,
it's an atavistic dream
one of tomahawk and rifle
'lo a quintessential thing

this throwback rumination
of a distant 'in my past'~
the modern me does battle
how these visions dwindle fast!

a twiggy hold on ancient customs
to forge and knife and moc
these deft skills so clean forgotten
if ancient skills could talk!

and yet I sit and touch you
from perhaps a mile, a league,
on this information superhighway
an electric pulse the steed.

track these events of antecedents!
mark the place from where you're from
persons carried you on forward
humans hammering their drum

lend your hearts to them now
try and feel the formers, gone
time was once ahead for them too
stretching out like jeweled lawn!

no propone I jest to foil you,
see, instead I ask the cost~
that we each must weigh the future
against our past so lost

These alarming implications
of our people without root
do we become a soulless chattel
all our works to count as moot?

No! Reach back, barbaric thinking
allow the savage in the straw!
let the land call back the woodsman
and the lumber and the law

strech out fin to kith with longing
bend the aether with your hand
bind your heart to wood and leather
stitch your soul into the land.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ode to a Mustang

When as a child I'd sit in thought
and project out all I'd be
I'd visualize my great success
oh the things that'd build up me!

I'd never knew that all my stuff
instead would chain me down
and in place of smiles beatific
I'd wear an ulcered frown

I'd never been acquainted
with amortization or it's friends
never known of crippling debt
or been victims of it's ends

And here today, the car is gone
and punky bills heap like twigs
These companies who once courted
now sharpen knives for gutting pigs

I understand the allure of dreams,
and the visions that set you free
posessions never made the man
and ashes tell tales, you see.

This makes me think of the afterlife
of when I've come and gone
which master will I be paying to
will it be devil, or Everlasting Son?

For me, I'll learn from my mistakes
take my licks, dust off and go
continue on the path to Life
there are other meadows to mow.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Updated the character study in yesterday's post. Please read it again? 



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Character Study (Fiction)

He always felt guilty when he squashed bugs. He didn't know where it came from, just knew that smashing a spider or killing a fly made him experience a twinge of guilt. And flushing them down the toilet, wrapped up in their tiny burial shrouds of toilet paper did nothing to ease the feeling. 

He imagined them, swirling dizzily in the suction that must have felt massive to their relatively tiny bodies, until they were pulled down through the s-bend and into the main line of the house drain--sticky, dark, only partly aqueous and mostly clogged with filth. Kitchen sink scraps, grease, fecal matter; flushed down to rot with the rest of the stuff. All these would be the last the insect or spider would see, how would their tiny soul make way to God? Would they be trapped in the sewer gas and slime, lodged in limbo? 

Perhaps they became tiny ghosts. Perhaps the billion or so he had killed in his lifetime, between car travel and fly swatting had formed a virtual sea of dead insect spirits, all of them hanging about in sewer mains and car bumpers, waiting for the end of the world and the summons of the four horsemen before jumping to action.

The Native American tribes had respect for animals, apologizing to them after they killed them, believing the spirits of the dead animals would haunt them otherwise. They held the animals in reverence, and spoke to them before using them for food.

He wondered how a billion mosquito souls would feel for not being apologized to. He idly supposed it just might make an interesting B sci-fi flick, "Revenge of the Bloodletters" or some such--the swarming undead mosquitoes sucking the soul out of the poor masses at large.

He even avoided stepping on pill bugs when he left the front door in the morning--the house keys were just fresh from twisting the lock shut and he walked among them, mincing steps, trying to avoid them as they scurried along in their prehistoric exoskeletons. There were spider webs all up the length of the siding by the front door, their webs littered with corpses of gnats and mosquitoes, the victims of the porch light he switched on at night. 

But the porch light trumped the pain the spider webs brought; the idea of someone breaking in to rob/kill/beat him driving him to greater fear and justification. He had cleaned them all off once, a few weeks back, but had thrown up after sweeping away their houses, his worry upsetting him so much that he had puked at work an hour later. As he recalled regrettably, he had eaten a hearty meal of ham and eggs that morning.

Another time he'd tried gardening. It was the year-before-last actually, and that time he hadn't been able to bear the thought of spraying pre-emergent insecticides; his tomatoes had lasted approximately 2 weeks into summer, and then ghosted away. The plants had gone just long enough for the swelling green fruit to start making him hope for a fresh BLT sandwich, when they began to wilt, wither and die. 

And like the mysterious fetus that does so well one week in a late middling term, and the next week loses the desire to live, so went his tomato plants. He'd reacted horribly when he found them limp and chewed off at ground level--he'd curled into a ball on his bedroom floor, barely able to speak into the phone and whisper that he was too ill for work that day.

It had been cutworms, he found out later, a nasty caterpillar who lived in the dirt, only emerging to climb up a plant stem and chew it's way along into developing into a moth. He'd had no heart to kill them, they deserved to live as much as he! They'd aborted his tomatoes and slaughtered his anaheim peppers and he'd still let them be, for some reason unable to squish or spray them to oblivion--he was no entymologist, no entomophobic. Perhaps he was a spectrophobic? That must explain it. He suffered from a deep seated fear of ghosts--in this case tiny insect ghosts--and was so scared about it he immediately took action. 

Last week, he killed a wood roach and an earwig, and he apologized to them, trembling out in broken tones which they did not know and could never hope to understand as he crushed the life out of their bodies. Those two had found their miserable way into his condo; he found them in the kitchen, scurrying across the floor. Indoor bugs crossed the line after crossing the threshold, and were fair, albeit painful, game.

What a strange man I am he thought. I am so because I give a damn about bugs, yet don't give a shit about my illegal immigrant neighbor, nor the old Mandarin guy two doors down who's cooking always makes my allergies act up.

It was always the little things that mattered to Mallory James Montblanc, the mundane tiny moments, the squashing of bugs; he found definition in these empty spaces. He busied himself worrying about things like this that really didn't matter, because he was afraid of the greater larger universe all around him. His real phobia was not due to bugs; no, his real bare-bones-truthful shake-you-to-the-core terror was that he had no control over anything. Bugs were merely a cover-up, a strange obsession, a curious footnote in his neat-freak world.

What he didn't know was that God had something more in store for him. He didn't comprehend that also very soon He was going to shake him enough to see it. God was going to throw his life into turmoil, twist him up, wring him out, throw him on the rack and break him and make him see. make him reach past all the bugs and straightened pencils in their cubby by the phone. God had plans for James.

Of course, none of that had happened just yet. No, today he was standing on the deck at the rear of his house, looking at his tiny postage stamp of a yard (as he lived in a condo) and looking at his empty garden which bordered the tiny stamp of grass. He had his hand on his hips, his lips pursed out, and he was sweating. His glasses had slid down his nose, his hair was mussed into a sort of half mohawk, and he had newsprint smeared on his forehead from where he'd fallen asleep on a yesterday's newspaper on the couch. 

He had no idea of the meteor hurtling towards him, ten million miles away and closing, nor that it had been sent directly from Kolob, with a label for 10 N 1040 W apartment B. 

Today he stood and considered cutworms, and God in turn considered him.

Friday, July 24, 2009

By The Mouth of the Dardanelles

So, you would flagellate
me and my men, for our works,
your cruel crop whistling "thus and thus!" and
"be it so, or else!"

It seems the gulf between ye and me
delineating our two worlds, the left and the right,
is an irritation too great and
insurmountable in your eyes

Lay down the callous whip!
tame your flaying tongue! be still!
your fights are nothing~devoid of mass
mere shadowboxing with dust motes

This cat of nine tails that you bring
grunting to bear on naked flesh
hissing it in it's arc, ruthless in extension
scores not so sharply as you would suppose.

Fiend! Troll! Knee jerk!
I smell your breath a thousand leagues away
all your darts amount to shield plunks
and laughing, I'll not be swayed!

Continue then, hammering at nothing
wearing out your spark, your soul~
both pith and guts were never found
in the emasculated rantings of a rubbernecker

True grit is bound, covalent
to the man who moves forward despite
knowing naught but his own soul and steps
and still surges forward with a roar despite the blackness.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Cenotaph

today is one of those sorts of days
the cumbersome times where
instead of the lightness of a bird,
my soul feels the weight of a stone

I'm some kind of rock that sits
lodged firmly, soundly covered,
it's mass buried entire but a tiny crown
and this just peeking out from mould

and this stony soul of mine, mostly hid,
gathers moss, lichen, pr'haps ferns around
as if a score of years spent hidden away
(watching the trees grow taller)

That's what I've felt today,
my time rolling past, if only in shades,
each slow excogitaion yielding
these tiny divisions of withdrawl

but these thoughts are too small for a stele!
and truly too modest for any monument.
today has been merely a pebble
there is no cairn above me, no standing stones.

I wish it were instead a day of flying
one where I'd cleave the sky with laughter,
not jaded cachinnation,
instead an absolution would pass my lips.

Pardon these days I have, Lord,
it's as if a flung stone took my spirit from the blue
and gneiss and gravel lay me low, broken.
these days I need thee near to me

Help me, oh God of the skies
(and of the dirt and stones too, for that matter)
bid this sepulcher door roll open
call to my bones and sinews to arise!

unbind these wrappings, loose my face,
and clear my hands, and my limbs.
anoint my head with thy perfume and oil
brush away these stones from my eyes.

Steer my steps, and reassure my feet
with your words. let me mount the sky
rebirth'ed, light footed, renewed,
that my sun bright soul part the heavens with a hymn!

-Jay 7-12-09

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

One of the signs that the apocalypse is upon us

Today @ 4 am something really interesting will happen. The time and the date will line up in a straight flush of sorts, and create a phenomenon most of you will miss. While you lay in the midst of a R.E.M. painted dream, the cosmos will pause a moment for this.

But not me. Not the vampiric graveyard shift manager on a technical team. I will be awake for it all, a front-row-ticket holder at the event of the century.

While most of you will be sawing logs, the equivalent of a planetary alignment will happen; it will be 04:05:06 during 07-08-09.

Do yourself a favor and run for the hills. This is gonna be bigger than Y2K and leap year combined. Think "Rockin' New Years Eve" but with people turning into zombies and Titans being released from Tartaros, or Nicholas Cage running around trying to save the world because numbers make things go boom. Blood will flow like rivers. Brains will be chomped. Asteroids or maybe Pluto (still pissed at getting voted off the island) are going to crash into the seas.

Or maybe not.

It is true that a date/time event like this one in the morining is admittedly a bit of a yawner. It feels like it should be accompanied by the afore mentioned zombies or demi-gods (if you believe cinema in the last 40 years) , perhaps even narrated by Nick Cage. Instead it will come and go, most folks not even making the connection that the "hand" they had would beat four of a kind, a full house, a flush, a straight, or three of a kind. Perhaps the old Greek and Roman gods are just playing cards, and early tomorrow morning Hermes will win yet another hand.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.


Interesting Articles Gleaned from Google News

This was an article written by Liz Soares with the Kennebec Journal (Maine).

I thought it was interesting to read as she is obviously a bit anti-2nd amendment (believes in gun control).

Worth a read; it is a bit of a tongue in cheek commentary about the state of our America today.

Another post from here out west:

Of particular note is the comment entry by "guest" on Thursday, June 25, 2009 (they really should make folks register, nothing like anonymous small mindedness being sprayed out on the Internets).

"I doubt many ammo buyers are preparing for civil war. Only the most fringe militia types which are 0.000000000000001% of gun owners. Here are some other more likely reasons, though:

1) Lots of people bought their first-ever gun in the months preceding and following the 2008 presidential election. Because they're racist rednecks angry that a black man is president? NO. Of course not. Rather, because the economy was going to pot which means more crime on the way, better be prepared to defend yourself. And also because there is a rational belief that this may be their last chance to buy a gun----something they've always wanted to do but haven't gotten around to doing. Obama hails from Chicago, after all, where all guns are banned. Too bad that advertising an unarmed-victim zone in that manner doesn't seem to be helping the murder rate. Anyway, more gun owners equals more ammo demand. Especially new gun owners who need to ramp up on skills.

2) Speculators. A lot of people who don't even own guns are buying ammo at Walmart and selling it for 50% markup or more on gun auction websites

3) component shortages in inputs to rounds including primers

4) government is buying more from the big manufacturers. The DOD also briefly tried (on Obama instructions) to stop selling spent military brass casings to reload companies. This only lasted a week before backlash prompted a reversal, but it certainly indicated Obama's intent to reduce the supply of ammo out there as a backdoor gun control method.

5) Huge growth nationwide in the number of small towns having SWAT teams and gang task forces, counter-terror task forces, etc., and needing more weapons, more military-style weapons, more training, and more ammo.

The shortage is showing signs of getting ready to ease. The hoarders seem to have hoarded enough (or at least, all that they can afford), and some of the bigger government contracts are nearing being fulfilled. Further, some ammo producers have made the gamble to increase production (something that involves substantial risk if the increased demand is only temporary), and finally some importers, smelling opportunity, have increased their imports from producers in eastern Europe, etc."

So all in all, I hope the shortage is abating. Paying $20 for a brick of 9mm is just too much!

And finally, for a contrasting note I add an article from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Tom Stienstra suggests that we are selling our ammo overseas at huge profits. Interesting tie into war mongering, that. I quote: "A national shortage of ammunition for hunting rifles and target pistols, blamed on large volumes of ammo being sold overseas at high prices."


Just for the record, read the comments posted on these papers at your own peril. Lots of angry folks out there in re: to you and I having the right to defend our families, homes, and property. Apparently those angry folks believe that a police state should be doing that, instead of the average Joe. It is interesting to note that these same folks believe the Constitution is a "interpretable document" and believe that the Supreme Court has the right to read it how they want to.

Oy. May Heaven help us.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Melissa and I got one of these plants a couple of days ago from Costco.

What a beauty of a plant!


Sunday, June 28, 2009

-For Barton, Jr-

I was sitting tonight, musing really,
alone as Melissa had fallen asleep
(those silent thoughts unable to compel her!)
my mind ambled along it's wandering course
and for some reason it settled on you.

There arose a memory, resurrected
one that dwelt in a dream
(tho never a dream, for 'twas felt too real!)
where you and I sat in a grand room
and I was confused with who you were.

In an instant I'd settled it, prematurely,
made up that you were an old acquaintance
(strange settling on that friend so ambiguous!)
and so I talked, and fudged, and tried to bridge
the gap from before, when we'd last met.

I should have seen the bushy brows
and twinkling eyes, recognized them then
(for now they were merry, and winking!)
and I think it was at last your laugh that awoke
and replaced, the childhood memory kept of you

It was really you! Not the other who I'd
passed off and tried to build a platform to.
(you and none other, singular to me!)
the blinders I wore then, fell to nothing
peel'd away then from my typhlotic eyes.

You were happy~but the laugh was more
besides the humor in the way I'd mark'd you
(Oh how you seemed to glow!)
and I felt your love, despite my hybris
and all the space and time between us.

Perhaps this then was a singularity?
as of I were earthbound and you a star
(fix'd in the heavens, on which I still gaze!)
a sparkling point of blue burning fire
the scabbarded tip of Orion's sword.

Strange recollection, this memory of a dream
brought by an angel, those long days ago
(so sharp to the quick, and piercing my center!)
awoken again tonight, by the muse
and I type when instead I should be asleep.

My wife, our kids, and even our dog
all know better than I right now and nod
(ebon skies and a waxing moon keep my watch.)
yet I type on, writing for my late grandfather
no latent elegy, but full-throated song of felicity!


Friday, June 26, 2009

I am about to start my weekend. I've got 35 minutes left on shift, and then freedom!

Going to start plasma donation again today, haven't been bloodletting for cash for nearly a year. I have done this on and off for a number of years; the cash the plasma center pays out is well worth it (approx $250 per month), and well used for plethora of purpose.

I am pretty tired. As you perhaps can see from my fragmented trains of thought. It has been a tough week @ work. Lots of issues, and many of them so odd they defied rational thought. Customers asking for weird support, accusing of strange things, demanding out-of-scope actions. I am gld to be done.

On another seperate grain of thought, I think I may try and write something spur-of-the-moment. Here goes.


this vessel, ungilded chalice
holds little more that water
yet costs more than kings mead
it carries the cost of life
weighs the grains of death
and works, works, works
until its finished
seized up, pegged.
solo drum beats, only so many
pushing this little stuff, more than water.
once taken away, dust~
hammer on, on, ON!
simple chalice, soul's steed
tympanic movements
in the strange cantata of life.

Hmmm. And I end up writing about Michael Jackson anyway. Didn't mean to. Yet there you are. For Michael.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers day, what a thing.

My kids are all pretty young still, so today was just like any other day. Their hugs and kisses, wrestling and roughhousing with me were just like all the others. They knew no differently, and rightly so.

To them, this is normal. Father's Day is every day, it is not a special moment set aside on the third Sunday in June, it is in every leaf, every explanation, under every rock we turn over together. Strangely enough it is also in every dirty diaper, every late night with a sick child, and in every scraped knee and wet rolling tear shed by my youngsters.

Father's Day is found in the mundane and the exceptional, these moments that jumble and jostle together and make up a childhood. It is 365 days a year of youth, 365 days of parenting. It is also made up of my own childhood. It's also about my own father who worked at the steel mills. It is not linear, it is looped, and exists in the future actions of my children as well.

Father's Day permeates and surrounds, the same way Mother's Day and Grandparent's Day do. It makes up an outward expression of an inward feeling, as as such the day is a good one. It allows and encourages my little children think about what it means to be a father for a moment, to catch a small vision of their own future roles, and express gratitude for all those other 364 days.

I am mostly projecting at this point as my kids are all under age seven. But perhaps in twenty years when they have kids of their own, these words just might be read by them, and they'll understand.

All this makes me think of my own dad. I mentioned the steel mill he worked at, but there were other things besides work that he taught. My dad showed me his sense of humor despite obstacles, showed me that it was OK to truly fall in love with reading, taught me about where my family line came from and that Scotland is The Brave. He taught me about his religion, taught me to be true and to work hard. These are things I love my dad for.

Oh the strange road I traveled to realize these things about my dad! Time and experience were the vehicles that peeled off the blinders that I wore; a divorce and pent up teen angst had me jaded against him for so very long. It took raising my own children--the worrying that they had eaten enough, were dressed in clothes that fit, and were getting an education, to get me to realize he did his best for me. That he still was trying his best as a father and grandfather.

This makes me think of Frost and his poem Choose Something Like a Star. My dad is steadfast, unflinching, solid.

Frost mentions in his poem that we should not carry praise or blame too far; and I will not. I do thank my dad for showing me the way that I will succeed. And that is the best Fathers day gift of all: hard work and love are the legacy that I will to pass down to my children. It is the same as was passed down to him by his parents, and theirs to them.

May God continue to allow us to pass this legacy on down the line to our children.

Happy Father's Day today and every day this year!