To the Point

There comes a time in every epoch when pragmatism simply evolves into extreme acquiescence and surrender to the forces of apathy and do-nothingness, a guarantor of the status quo in all of its easy, democratic criminality--its fortress of greed.--TL Simons

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gore Vidal Dead at 86

For his politics alone, Gore Vidal earned my respect, mainly because he was adamantly anti-war and opposed to the sniveling of the rich, which was ironic because he came from a wealthy family himself.

Perhaps only the children of wealth can afford to be so aggressive in the struggle against wealth?

I was a fan of his essays; more so than his novels.

Like his partial contemporary cohorts and occasional sparring partners, Capote and Mailer, he knew how to exploit his genius, ruffle the feathers of his ignorant and conservative mainstream critics, extend the boundaries of professionalism, and,  polished to a fine sheen, annihilate the lesser informed.

He could give a shit what his critics thought.  Always a valuable tool in the literary field.

Dead at 86.


The Pain

A must see look at present day Iraq.

Warning:  Some scenes involving Iraqi children with birth defects are of a graphic nature.

There is also a very emotional scene between the reporter and the father and brother of a Reuters photographer killed in the famous WikiLeaks video of a U.S. gunship in action.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Rust: An Interview with Charles Lucas

Buddy Dooley strolled into town yesterday and talked to Round Bend Press contributor Charles Lucas at a pub along Yamhill Street.


The Olympian Silenced

Here's what I think...

Never mind, I'm not allowed to talk about it.

The corporate sweepstakes playing out in the London Olympics.


Put Down the Cell Phone and Read/Charles Lucas

An image Charles Lucas told me about yesterday, which I demanded  he send to me.  Naturally the guy with the baseball cap on backwards will spoil the party. Also, he would like to put his arm around the young woman's shoulders, but she's more interested in the bright young man to her left.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lucas Interview in the Works

A decent day of shooting video.  I interviewed ceramic tile artist/painter/photographer Charles Lucas over beers this afternoon and he was in good form talking about his career in Portland.

I have about 15 minutes of video that I'll work with tonight and tomorrow.

We'll see what transpires in the editing realm, but I think I have a few minutes of workable stuff that may shed a little light on this particular artist's process.

I'm more concerned about what happens in the audio department than anything else.  The "Bloggie" pictures look good.

I'll post it here if I find the sweet spot in the next few days and make this thing work.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Life During a Soccer Match

Worth a second look.

And just as I posted this the Portland Timbers minor league soccer/futbol team had a flyover at Jeld-Wen Field in downtown Portland.

And don't get your dander riled.  I know it is called Major League Soccer in the United States, but that doesn't make it so.


Vice on the Olympics

Another take on the Olympics from Vice, the company David Carr excoriates in the documentary film Page One:  Inside the New York Times.

This is not a bad series of short investigative reports published since Carr accused the Vice founders of being journalistic plebes without merit.

Carr is a decent reporter, but he didn't get this story.  The Vice crew did, and for that the evolving entertainment/video production company deserves notice, and praise.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Concert Tunes

A friend turned me on to this music site.

It's fairly mainstream, but you might want to bookmark it in case you ever get in the mood for a little arena rock.

There is one problem however.  No Dylan, but for a short interview.


Big Bore

Olympic madness.

Not into it, though I'd be elated if Rupp, Eaton, et al., win medals.  Oregon grads can do no wrong, you know?

In the past I might watch a little basketball, but I can't stand today's stars, so that is out.

As an event the Olympics have become too corporate and predictably maudlin for my tastes.

I want to be entertained.  I'll bear down and wait for college football, which is corporate enough for me.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Movie Night

Watched the 2011 release Page One:  Inside the New York Times, starring David Carr, tonight.


It puts a little sheen on journalism in these times, something the industry needs.


Now You Know, PSU

These are the basic rules of when to call the authorities.  Follow them and society will benefit.

When you see a burning building or witness an accident in which you believe bodily harm has resulted.

When you witness a robbery.

When you witness a murder or otherwise know a killer to be loose.

When you witness or suspect someone you know has sexually assaulted a minor.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bionic Man Rollin'

Give Sketch and Harriet all the credit.

The Bionic Man has made one helluva recovery, except for a little pain.


Doc Trailer/Woody

I found this documentary on Woody Allen at Netflix.



More from Bacon

Another novella by the prolific Tacoma artist/writer K.C. Bacon has landed on my desk.

I'm looking forward to digging into it as RBP awaits the third-party preparation of two of the writer's other novellas, which will appear here a month apart in mid-August and mid-September.

For the past 10 months Bacon has been a terror at the typer, bringing together a cast of characters who live, work, play and love in the mythical Pacific Northwest enclave of New Rotterdam.

O, the scenes they play through!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Truth from the Beast

"A man of lesser ego would never have permitted a statue to be built of him..."

The best analysis I've read yet on the football troubles at Penn State.


Monday, July 23, 2012


While feeling about half sick and fighting a sketchy WiFi connection all day (and last night), I haven't accomplished much in recent hours.

I did receive a note from a friend this evening who now has a copy of Dooley's new book.  He says it "looks good, feels good, and seems right."

I think he should do more than just wear the damn thing, but this really is the best review RBP has ever garnered.

I'm not in this for praise, but I'll take all the glory that comes my way.

I made a nice chicken Alfredo linguine dish last night (maybe that's the source of my sluggishness all day).  I found it to be quite tasty, so I'm using the remaining sauce tonight atop a bed of rice.

That's part of the hell of being a bachelor.  If you cook something that isn't good for you and you make too much of it you give yourself a double-dose of potential trouble.

I'm not throwing the food out because that is wasteful.  I'm not giving it to my neighbors because I don't like any of them.  Therefore I have a lone option: to eat all the leftovers I can.

I still haven't screwed up the courage to go see the new Batman flick.**

I shot some new video with my cool "Bloggie" camera yesterday, but have dragged ass so badly today that I haven't touched the thing.

In fact, I've mostly napped today.  Just plain draggin' ass.

CD goes in for his pacemaker tomorrow so he can become a "bionic man" just like Dick Cheney.  That will be the only thing those two ever have in common.

Concerning Dooley:  The shrinks say it often helps to admit your shortcomings and failures.  At times it is difficult to say how one ascertains that shortcomings and failures are indeed part of existence, given that when you look around, no matter who you are, you'll always find others whose shortcomings and failures make your own negligible.

The thing about shortcomings and failures is you can't really do anything about them.  You can try, but it's fools' work.  Shortcomings and failures wouldn't exist if they were easily erased.  That is one of life's conundrums.

Like Dooley, I have my share of shortcomings and failures and, frankly, I'm tired of dealing with them.  I want my shortcomings and failures to go away on a long vacation.

Because they invariably depress me.

There you have it, a decent rundown:  rave book review, food lesson, movie critique, pacemaker, pop psych and depression.

What more do you want?  Or not want?

**I don't go to first-run movies for the very reason that you can be killed in them.


Portland from Oaks Bottom/Charles Lucas


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Take Them All Down

The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium comes down.

I like the way the workers have  covered its head, symbolic of the cover up  Paterno engaged in for many years.

For the best.

And while we're on the subject, let's tear down every statue across the land that has been built or dedicated to a football coach or player.

They're silly and place too much importance on the individual who has played or plays a mere game, which is supposed to be an entertainment and not a matter of life and death.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Sound of Ideologies Clashing

Alexander Cockburn upon the occasion of Christopher Hitchens' death.

Now they're both dead.

What a world we live in.  These guys were once friends and compatriots.

Shit happens.




The Foley Artist

Here is a swell video interview/demo with a well-known Foley artist from Santa Monica.

Another short piece w/video.

Now you know how movies become really cool.


Ex-Beaver to CF Hall of Fame

Before I became a Duck I was a Beaver.

Bill "Earthquake" Enyart was unstoppable at the goal line, a key member of the 1967 OSU "Giant Killers," a two-time All-American, and from all accounts one helluva nice guy.

He played a little pro ball, too, but lacked the top end speed that the big league covets.

Kudos to Enyart, who lives in Bend.


R.I.P. Alexander Cockburn

Just discovered that Alexander Cockburn, founder with Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch, has passed at age 71.

I read AC's first book, a study of world chess champions, decades ago and remained a dedicated reader of his work.

As the U.S. prepared to attack Iraq in 2003 for reasons he and others knew were bullshit I discovered his online magazine, CounterPunch.

It is a rare day that I do not read all or parts of that website.  Such is how I discovered moments ago that Mr. Cockburn had passed in Germany yesterday.

Few knew how sick he had become in recent months.

Alexander Cockburn was a brilliant radical who hoped for and espoused world peace by calling out the war instigators and profiteers.



Bloggie at the Farmers' Market

The little pocket Bloggie takes good pictures.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Black Money/Macdonald

I'd been hearing about the Tennis Club for years, but I'd never been inside of it.  Its courts and bungalows, its swimming pool and cabanas and pavilions, were disposed around a cove of the Pacific a few miles south of the Los Angeles County border.  Just parking my Ford in the asphalt lot beside the tennis courts made me feel like less of a dropout from the affluent society.

So begins Ross Macdonald's 1966 Lew Archer novel Black Money.  I just read it for the first time and all I can tell you is that it further cements my long-held belief that Macdonald was among the greatest American  literary talents, never mind genre writers, of the twentieth-century.

Here is an excerpt from Tom Nolan's biography of Macdonald, which sheds light on how the great novelist's reputation steadily grew among critics and how he influenced other genre writers who have long admired his work.


A New Struggle

My Sony "Bloggie" video camera came today!

How does this sucker work?!


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not So Hidden Persuasion

Ralph Nader's thoughts on the advertising game.

Years ago, I worked for a couple of guys who were in partnership in the restaurant trade.  At the behest of one of them I formulated an advertising concept and the restaurant paid in advance for six-months of ads in a community newspaper that circulated in the neighborhood.

Both of these guys were dickheads, but it was funny watching them battle it out over the philosophy of advertising.  One of them, the bigger dickhead, who was a very wealthy former NFL football player, thought the investment was a waste.  I tended to agree with him because the restaurant was already well-known.

The other one, the lesser dickhead, believed there was true value in advertising, that it reminded people of their nightly dinner and weekend drinking options, and helped support the community, including the local advertising rag, which after all might one day publish something nice about the restaurant.

I've been in both the newspaper and restaurant business--at times concurrently--over the years, and I can inform you that while newspapers claim to have separate advertising and editorial agendas that don't overlap, editors and publishers are flat-out lying about this.

Particularly in the community news business.  If you are a big advertiser you will get ink.

A restaurateur's joint will not be panned, even if it deserves to be, in a paper where he or she advertises.

My thinking at the time I was working for the dickheads was that new businesses opening in the neighborhood might be well-served by spending for ads to increase visibility, but established businesses--not so much.

Who knows if I was right?  That is more or less the ongoing debate.

The restaurant was a neighborhood landmark.  I thought its visibility was just about maxed out.  Even new-comers to the neighborhood would eventually discover it on their own without having to see an ad.

Word-of-mouth goes a long way in the kind of tight-knit community I'm talking about in this experience.

The lesser dickhead won the argument and the ad campaign geared up.  I wrote and placed the ads and watched the developing results.

Sales didn't jump.  A few words about the joint found their way into a few stories, but that is all that happened.

I and a few of my friends enjoyed my ads because they were sort of subversive without being serious, but the bigger dickhead didn't like them too much.

The last one I wrote was the end of the story for me.  I posited in the ad that people were nuts to buy the expensive hot dogs and beer at the local ballpark during a Portland Beavers' home game when they could come to our nearby restaurant pre-game and eat a full dinner and slake their thirsts for a fraction of the cost.

It made too much sense.

The owner of the beer and hot dog concessions at the ballpark was a golfing friend of  my boss, the bigger dickhead, but I hadn't a clue of that.

Then things turned bad.

In order, I sprained my wrist at work when lifting something heavy and went to a doctor who put me on a week of rest.   That evening, I arranged for a sub-cook to handle my next few shifts.

Later that same evening I learned my oldest sister had died a few days before, and I made plans to attend her funeral in my home town before going out for a few beverages to mourn and remember.

A disgusted and ignorant co-worker who was in reality a witch walked past the bar where I was sitting, my arm in a sling, tears bubbling into my beer, and called the bigger dickhead.

The bigger dickhead called me the next day just as I prepared to leave for my sister's funeral and told me I was fired.  He'd read the ad and thought I had unfairly maligned his golfing-friend's business.

But like the advertising man and the editor, he was lying.

What he really resented was that I had hurt myself doing his heavy work, was about to miss a week, and still had the gall to go out to a local bar and drink a few on my free time.

Listen dickhead, I said.  I hurt myself doing a job for you.  My sister just died.  We're burying her tomorrow, and you're worried about me drinking beer on my off hours in another neighborhood joint?  You're worried about the hurt feelings of your golfing friend?  Fuck you.

I told you he was the bigger dickhead.


Right Through the Heart

A very fine poem by Charles Deemer.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Homage to Delbert McClinton


Deemer and Halberstam

Received a note from CD today reminding me of a great book that I read years ago.

First, read CD's good-humored take on a recent spammer at his blog.  CD is having some health issues at the moment and is visiting a cardiologist today, which he recently mentioned at his blog.  A spammer wrote and told him it was a funny post and left a web address for advertising purposes.  Talk about bad taste.

But anyway, we wish CD the best moving ahead as he deals with his health.

But back to the book.  I read David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game upon its publication in 1981. It is a sports book that, like the best in the genre, transcends sports.  It is ostensibly about the Portland Trailblazers, 1979-1980, but more importantly it is about the culture of sports, the NBA in particular, and the role of sports in Americans' lives.

Pick up anything by the late David Halberstam and you will immediately become engrossed.

Mr. Halberstam unfortunately was killed in an auto accident in Menlo Park in April, 2007 as he traveled to interview Y.A. Tittle about the 1958 NFL Championship game between Tittle's New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts, often referred to as football's greatest game.

While he wasn't particularly anti-war himself, Halberstam is still lauded for his early New York Times reportage of the Vietnam War, when he called out the generals for lying about the war's purpose and direction.

JFK hated him and tried to get him fired.  That's credentialed enough for me.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Joe Paterno/No Defense

By the time of this interview (2006) with Charlie Rose, Joe Paterno had been concealing a vulgar fact for years and years.

A friend of his was a pedophile preying on innocents at Penn State University, and Joe knew it.  So did Joe's supposed bosses.

Rather than turn the information they had regarding Jerry Sandusky over to criminal investigators, the highest administrators of  the institution let Paterno's former assistant coach continue on his destructive path.  Furthermore, they continued to support his Second Mile charity and granted him access to Penn State University athletic facilities.

He was given "emeritus" status.

Listen to this interview if you are able to, and attempt to comprehend what Joe Paterno professed to be and believe in during his discussion with Rose.

Then try to reconcile that with what you now know about Joe Paterno.

This is ugly, ugly stuff.

Joe Paterno was delusional at best.  To think that this man should continue to be venerated by the PSU "family" is sickening.

Bring down the statue in Happy Valley!  It is an affront to common sense and human decency.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

American History

Sunlight splayed the south park blocks this morning as I sat and drank my coffee, and I was startled--but not ultimately surprised--by this scene:

Three couples were strolling past when they paused to look at the life-sized statue of Teddy Roosevelt on horseback, which is the centerpiece of the section of the park located across the street from the Portland Art Museum.

They appeared to be middle-aged out-of-towners and looked suspiciously well-credited, judging by their manner of dress, which was formally informal, neat, and studied in the manner of American mall rats.

They should be in Northwest Portland window shopping, I thought.

It took me a few moments to understand their dilemma as they stood and viewed the statue of Teddy.  Then one of them broke from the pack and investigated. Curiosity had gotten the best of him.

"Come on, that's Grant!" one of the men in the group shouted.  Mumbled assents followed his proud and terribly wrong wild guess.

The investigative one peered at the informative plaque at the statue's base, beneath the horse's ass, and I imagined a turd falling on his head just then.

"You should know this!" he exclaimed as he rejoined the group.

"Who?" the others wanted to know.  A bit of tense excitement had seized the moment, and it looked like they all might pee on themselves.

"Grant, right?" said the wise one.

The curious one revealed the truth and the visitors walked on, chuckling over their magnanimous ignorance.


Friday, July 13, 2012

A Shooter in London

The opportunity was sitting in front of me like an unseen gem worth thousands.

Then I saw it.

A friend of Round Bend Press is going to England this summer to visit old friends and family.  I've asked him to pack the new Sony "Bloggie" mini-camera that I've ordered from a Texas clearinghouse.

He's agreed to pick up some shots of London and environs for my work-in-progress, the video adaptation of A Marvelous Paranoia.

He will record a derivation of this:

Jane’s friend offered me something to eat and drink as I sat with her and her baby and made small talk.  I wanted to tell her everything about my relationship with our mutual friend in Portland, but I held off.  After awhile I began to sense that my visit was largely an effort to ingratiate myself into Jane’s life.  By being in her friend’s London apartment I realized I was out-of-bounds, silly, obviously desperate.   I left a short time later, having talked of nothing consequential.  Waiting for the train later, I felt relieved that I hadn't acted the complete fool and talked too much about my love interest in Portland.

Unnerved by the visit to Notting Hill, I began to question why I was even in London.  Had I gone simply to escape the harsh reality of my relationship with a married woman?  It was over, and I was deeply upset by that fact, the unrequited aspect of love.  And this is where my European adventure turned uncomfortable, even bizarre.  Out of sorts now, fragmented by a barrage of conflicting emotions, I went to Paris, and, like a man afraid of his own shadow, I returned to London just as quickly as I’d left it.

from "A Marvelous Paranoia" (2010)


Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Perfect Case of Plausible Deniability

 Powerful people hide behind it.

The family of Joe Paterno understands it.

The Freeh Report on Penn State University's handling of the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal exposes it.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Publication Day

At long last RBP is proud to publish this book of blog posts and other short essays by Buddy Dooley, a sometimes friend of mine.


"The enormity of the problem is not lost on me. You told me when I was very young that I might be with you. You put it colloquially, you whined when I attempted to leave. I wanted to leave. Do you understand how much I wanted to leave? When I came back I embraced you. As you turned to walk away I noticed a smirk had, despite your denial, formed on your lips. Your dishonesty was hurtful. I had returned with the best of intentions, to begin again, to try to make you happy. I invited you out for a beer and a bite to eat. You said sure, but once more the hesitation in your voice confused me. I thought, well, one either wants beer and a decent meal or one doesn’t. Ordinarily, the decision shouldn't be a problem. But that isn’t how you play the game. That is the difference between us. You play games. Me? I am sitting here…waiting for you."

from Writing to the Muse


Moving Up in the World

I had to get one.

The price was right for a refurbished Sony "Bloggie" flip camera so I snagged it off the Internet today after a tip from a compadre who swears by his. He shot this entire movie using a flip camera.

I like the mid-range RBP camera I've been shooting with for the past several months, but I often complain that it is too small compared to the VHS cameras I used back in the day.  Many of its push-button features make me feel like a claw-handed oaf when I set up for a shoot.

Given that, I definitely see the advantage of having a point-and-shoot carry-around flip camera for inspired takes.  I don't carry my  Canon around everywhere I go, because even though it is a small camera it is still too large to carry in a jacket pocket.  When it is around my neck or on my shoulder it cries video shoot, which makes people nervous.

The flip is unobtrusive.  And this little baby has 4 GB of memory built into it and a pop-out USB stem.  No wires, no memory cards necessary.

Bottom line?  I can do a two camera shoot if I want to.  I like that.


Family News

In response to a question my daughter sent me the other day about my religious background:

Made to go to Sunday schools and religious camps as a child with Lutherans and Mennonites at various times.  The Mennos were a bit too cultist for my tastes.  Sort of an odd bunch.  

I think my forced religious education was just a way for Icie (my mother) to get me out of her hair on occasion.  She was pretty tired of kids by the time I came around, as you might imagine.  Same reason I was usually shipped off to a brother or sister's house in the summer once I grew old enough to go alone.

Not much of what I learned stuck with me, and I'm not particularly sad that it didn't.  Religion is not my thing.

Ironically, it became Icie's thing when I was a teen.  She became a Seventh Day Adventist.  Which was cool.  I had the house to myself often times on Saturdays while she went to church with Dick Terry's (my brother-in-law) mom and step-dad.

Linda (my daughter's mother) has the Mexican side; as you know Mexicans are deep Catholics in general, as indeed the Spanish/Mediterranean  influence hasn't completely worn away among Hispanics in general.

I find Catholicism to be quite absurd; if I were forced to pick one now I'd take the Unitarians.  Nice liberal bunch who don't take themselves too seriously.


Take care of that Big D (my grandson) guy for me and tell him Gramps says hello.



Monday, July 9, 2012

What He Says

"Cultures that endure carve out a protected space for those who question and challenge national myths. Artists, writers, poets, activists, journalists, philosophers, dancers, musicians, actors, directors and renegades must be tolerated if a culture is to be pulled back from disaster. Members of this intellectual and artistic class, who are usually not welcome in the stultifying halls of academia where mediocrity is triumphant, serve as prophets. They are dismissed, or labeled by the power elites as subversive, because they do not embrace collective self-worship. They force us to confront unexamined assumptions, ones that, if not challenged, lead to destruction. They expose the ruling elites as hollow and corrupt. They articulate the senselessness of a system built on the ideology of endless growth, ceaseless exploitation and constant expansion. They warn us about the poison of careerism and the futility of the search for happiness in the accumulation of wealth. They make us face ourselves, from the bitter reality of slavery and Jim Crow to the genocidal slaughter of Native Americans to the repression of working-class movements to the atrocities carried out in imperial wars to the assault on the ecosystem. They make us unsure of our virtue. They challenge the easy clich├ęs we use to describe the nation—the land of the free, the greatest country on earth, the beacon of liberty—to expose our darkness, crimes and ignorance. They offer the possibility of a life of meaning and the capacity for transformation."

The rest of the story from Chris Hedges.


Spare Change

Now I'll have to see what all the fuss is about.

Philip Seymour Hoffman just happens to be one of my favorite actors.


The Gang

What more could there possibly be?  I had a great weekend of sun and quiet contemplation of things ahead.

I reviewed some video and determined I need a few fixed, meditative (the Euro influence) shots to allow my movie moments of varied pacing and breadth.

We do not want a video made up entirely of obviation and intransigence, do we?  Of course not.  We seek variety and tone-depth.

Now, to think of and compose those images.  Hmmmm....

Here at Round Bend we don't have an art department per se, unless you label that freak Buddy Dooley an artist.  RBP contributors are encouraged to submit their projects whole, i.e., with cover and text designs of their own making and a commitment to what they envision.

I am the designer of record for my books and a few others, but any time a writer or artist can do it on his own he'll have my blessing.

Mr. K.C. Bacon, whose Moon Over New Rotterdam will appear here next month, is a case in point.  Tired of what RBP offers in the way of design tools and imagination, he's found help.  Good help.

I've seen a mock up of the book's cover, and it is a winner.

I think back to other contributors who have seized the moment.  Mr. Charles Deemer turned to his wife, the artist Harriet Levy, for the cover of his Sodom, Gomorrah & Jones.  Nice.

Bill Deemer used his own clever drawing of a man with his head in the clouds for Variations. Also nice.

Consider what RBP really is.  It is not a publishing house in reality, of course.  The books go to big-boy printing outfits whose toes are dipped in several aspects of the publishing business.  Lulu will give you a design for a few extra bucks, for instance.

But I don't want to talk to their representatives.  They're salespeople selling a chunk of the publishing dream that I'm not interested in.  I have nothing against fancy-dancy covers and fonts, etc.  It's just that RBP isn't in a position to pay for them.

I've never used that big-boy application and never will.  I've settled for what some might consider mediocre covers and overall design, but at the time I made those editions I was working with the resources at hand--that is few and next to none.  And my own brain, such as it is.

To the point:  Round Bend Press is simply a platform, a website that has coalesced a handful of artists under a thematic umbrella.  They are free to submit their projects as they see them, using their own resources to their fullest advantage.

RBP has but one advantage.  It appears to be a gang.

A peaceful gang.

More to the point:  The writers and artists associated with RBP give it their all.  It's a very simple concept  And it works.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day Dreaming

(Ronaldo Field, Beaverton, OR)

This promises to be a solid weekend of relaxation, my first in weeks.

Summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest, and I'm a big fan of these sorts of days.  I'll even take the thunder showers that are expected tomorrow as long as they pass through quickly and we return to sunny skies.

Yesterday I procured a backup hard drive to store my video clips safely away from the perils of computing obsolescence. The largess of a friend made this happen, and I am grateful.

It is not a question of if your computer crashes, but when.  My sales clerk advised that I buy an extra backup  drive to complement the first one, but I nixed that idea for now.

The blues festival at the waterfront is blessed by the weather gods this year.  This is the 25th anniversary of the festival.  If memory serves me, most of them have had good weather.  I can recall being scorched more than once by the July heat as I stood in front of the bandstand and boogied down to one band or another.

My boogie-down days are over.

Out in Beaverton at the Nike campus this year's crop of supposedly elite American football seniors have gathered for a high-profile competition in speed, agility and strength drills, with a little one-on-one competition thrown into the mix.  This is an exclusive by-invite Nike-promotional being held on Ronaldo Field, named for a Portuguese soccer star.

Cristiano Ronaldo is all of 25.  He  is one of the world's highest-paid athletes, and he is admired by futbol fans worldwide, particularly the kids who want to emulate him.

Nike is in the dream business.  And the biggest dream in the world for kids is soccer.

Of the 150 elite American high school football stars on hand at Nike, a handful of them will ever make money playing the violent game at the highest level.  And not a one of them will make the kind of money Ronaldo makes.  Probably won't have a field named after them either.

The dream business is big, and Nike leads the fantasy.

I'll be outdoors today, dreaming that one day I'll sell a few RBP editions.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic Bullshit

I had a little trouble with the beggars outside Safeway tonight.

They're there all the time, channeling their energy in the wrong direction; namely at shoppers coming and going who refuse to give them what they want.

One of them asked me for something tonight.  I simply said no, as clearly and firmly as I had to, and for my trouble I was called an asshole and a fag.

Six homeless v. little old me.

Sitting in front of the store--never mind panhandling--is evidently legal, for I spoke to management about having my feeling hurt.  The store can't root these punks out of the way.

Had I smashed the little fucker's teeth in who challenged me and called me names, I'd have been carted to jail.

Kids, you're stupid.  If the object of your rudeness says no, it may not be because he is a cold-hearted, unknowing son-of-a-bitch.  It might mean he's simply as flat broke as you are.  Or he might be turned off by your aggressiveness.

Wise up, jackasses.

If you want things to change, do something about it.  Find yourselves, and quit lashing out at other poor souls who simply say no.  It is not other poor folk who have made your lives intolerable.

You're idiots!  You're criminally stupid.  No wonder people don't like you.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Huxley and the Gang

I had a nice visit last night with two Round Bend contributors who hadn't seen each other in, they guessed, nearly twenty years.

K.C. Bacon and Charles Lucas were regulars at a couple of beer joints I worked at in the old days in Northwest Portland, before the neighborhood was infiltrated by its current mass of boutique owners/shoppers and trust fund wastrels.

The old neighborhood changed from working class to speculative shit hole in what felt like days, though it took a little longer than that in reality.  For various reasons the old gang split up, only to be regenerated here recently.

I took great pleasure in seeing K.C. and Charles re-united for a couple of hours as we tossed back a few drinks and discussed their recent and current art projects.

It didn't take long for their conversation to turn to matters I am completely unqualified to delve into.  You see, both of these artists were once seminarians, albeit of differing disciplines.

My contribution to a discussion of religion can be summarized in one short phrase:  "I don't get it."

Then the conversation turned to a text by Huxley which I have had the good fortune to avoid for many years.

But what a great pleasure it was to listen to my friends mull over metaphysics and much else for however long, until I could no longer digest what they were saying, and took leave to go pee.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dog's World

(A rat that yips)

We have a dog problem in my building.

I like dogs generally, unless they're the yipping variety that won't shut up in the middle of the night.  Or bark at you simply because you're in the vicinity.

To compound the problem, another little yipping monster lives in the apartment building next door.  It often barks all night long.

How the residents of that building put up with it is beyond me.

I'm awakened in the middle of the night constantly by the dogs around here.  One starts, and they yip back and forth like secret messengers.  It is tiresome, and I am often sleep-deprived because of it.

Why people have dogs in a cramped apartment building like the one I live in is a mystery.  I think it is a form of cruelty.  A dog needs space, room to romp.  I might own one if I had a yard or lived near a dog park where the animal could get the exercise it needs to thrive.

Today, two of the little bastards came out of an apartment next to mine and started.  Their master followed me into the elevator and the shits began yipping and barking like crazy as they snapped at my feet and caused a most unpleasant ride down to the lobby.

The master had the temerity to note aloud that I seemed to not like his lovable little creatures.  I've filed a formal complaint against him and all the other moronic assholes who have dogs in my building and seem to be unable to control them.

I'm pissed and I'm tired.


Blues Festival Primed

A story about the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival which kicks off July 4.

Check out the
photo essay of this historic festival.  Some great shots of the late, mega-talented Paul deLay.