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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


My daughter, and her extended family and friends, carved these for tonight's festivities.

They have a yearly ritual and self-judged contest.

They all look like winners to me.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Otis Redding

A Rolling Stone piece.


Neko Case

About Neko Case.


To Blog, Or Not To Blog

I'm thinking about blogging the Oregon/USC game Saturday at 4 p.m.

I wonder if I could do it without getting distracted, flustered, irate, overwhelmed, or mealy-mouthed?


Perhaps all of those things would make an interesting stew...

What do my fans think?  Should I give it a try?

Wait, I don't have any fans.  So why am I asking you?

What if I made a video of myself at the same time?  That would be cool.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Staten Island

Well now, why do you suppose they parked there?!



I liked them!

But then I like Oregon's various uniforms as well.

So I'm no fashion guru.


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Live updates on Sandy.

Interesting to see the various reactions of people to this and what may transpire.

My friend Chris in Houston is a storm watcher. Very in tune with nature and sort of crazy.


Jad Abumrad

A creativity manifesto and other cool stuff.


Giants Sweep Series

San Francisco sweeps Detroit in the World Series.

Heck of a deal.

I always have to mention that a Giants game was the first major league game I ever watched in person, in San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1962.

Willie Mays roamed center field for the Giants and Pete Rose was a rookie second baseman with the Cincinnati Reds when I excitedly witnessed my first game.

More than anything else I remember the chill of the night in windy Candlestick.

Later, as a young man, I lived in San Francisco and preferred to go over to Oakland to watch the A's if I wanted to see a night game.

Baseball is an indelible delight best displayed in the dead of summer, but who can resist the World Series?


Saturday, October 27, 2012

BCS Woes

Oregon won big against a patsy, but it wasn't a good day for my team, because...well, because it played a patsy called Colorado.

In the meantime Notre Dame knocked off a decent Oklahoma team and Kansas State demonstrated dominance against Texas Tech.

Florida will fall after losing to Georgia, but Notre Dame will jump Oregon in the BCS standings.

It's crazy.  Oregon is really good, but the Ducks can't get over the hump. The strength-of-schedule computations just aren't there for my poor Ducks!  They'll likely remain at No. 4.

To top it off USC, Oregon's next opponent, lost to Arizona.  That shouldn't have happened.  If Oregon beats the Trojans next weekend the computers (collectively named Hal) will shrug and say--so what?

And then there is this.  Oregon State is losing to lowly Washington. OSU also needs to win to appease Hal.

Man, this season has the potential to be the most controversial yet in the BCS era.

Something's gotta give.

Note:  OSU just scored, finally!  There is hope...

Later:  The Beavs lose.  Oregon's SOS takes another massive hit.



Friday, October 26, 2012


The narrator in this song gets robbed at gun point.  By a woman. Outside a bar.

A unique and interesting story, but the singer's expressive voice and guitar carry the piece.

I like this.  Discovered the band a couple of years ago.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Norman Pollack

My WiFi is up and running again just in time to link you to this brilliant essay by Norman Pollack.

Dang, it is nice to be back in the saddle.


And Google!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


K.C. Bacon suggested I watch this 1976 documentary about the life and work of Malcolm Lowry.

Hadn't seen it before, and I liked it so much I'm passing it on to you.



The Series

(The other Pablo)

Sitting here listening to the World Series, I sort of rue not having a television these days. Haven't had one for years now.

But I'm getting a lot of reading done, so there is an upside.

The Giants are clobbering the Tigers in game one.  Giant third baseman Pablo Sandoval has hit three home runs!


Detroit's brilliant Justin Verlander simply didn't have his usual stuff tonight.

The announcers are saying he is "praying for a game five" to redeem himself.

Baseball is off the clock, but it feels like game one is over.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh well...

If you're bored and have nothing better to do you can listen to my recording of "Annie Ned's Blues" here.

Disclaimer:  I'm not real happy with this, so I'll call it an experiment and leave it at that.  The video reproduction didn't take the way I expected it to, nor is it my best reading.

I'll blame it on my health, which hasn't been real great of late.  Under the weather, gloomy, I'm not concentrating my best these day.

Maybe I'll give it another shot down the road, when (if) my energy returns.

I recorded the drum circle in downtown Portland's Pioneer Square during a Native-American celebration this summer.  It nearly makes the piece work.

It is good to have a part of your quest turn out, even if the whole doesn't.

Here is a little background, a short essay and the poem from a 2010 post here.


Bukowski's "Women"

Charles Lucas forwarded this pic to me, which reminded me of one of the great reads by Bukowski that I can recall.

Here is a PDF of his "Women."

About as funny, poetically eloquent, weird and engrossing as anything the late-great master wrote.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On McGovern

Chris Hedges on McGovern.

Karl Grossman on McGovern.

John Nichols on McGovern.

What more need be said?



K.C. Bacon has published his new book, Moon Over New Rotterdam, a novella that probes the life of a man determined to right the wrongs of his past when he returns, at first reluctantly, to his home town and begins life anew.

I read this book in several early drafts and assisted Mr. Bacon in the book's early stages, and I can tell you without hesitation that the author has written "a tale" to be savored and believed, and ultimately admired.

Bravo! is the best word I can manage for a work that demonstrates such true artistry.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Game Report

They weren't who I thought they were...

Arizona State University, that is.

I went out to a sports bar to watch last night's Oregon game.  First time I've done that this season, I usually sit at home alone in front of the computer and stream the games, privately fretting and cringing as Marcus Mariota inexplicably drops the football on occasion and otherwise looks like he's in over his head.

But the kid repeatedly snaps out of it and makes plays, as he did last night.

The young Oregon QB had a good reason to drop one last night when Will Sutton charged untouched from the middle of the ASU line and smacked him upside the head.  Sutton unfortunately hurt himself in the process and that was the ball game.

Without one of the country's best college linemen, ASU's defense fell apart and Oregon's dominate team speed expressed itself, running faster than a spoken disclaimer in a drug advertisement.

On the Ducks' second series, Kenjon Barner made a nice jump-cut at the line of scrimmage and ran through the space normally occupied by Sutton.

Seventy-yards later it was, See ya!

ASU wasn't who I thought they were, but Oregon's back-loaded PAC schedule gets tougher after next weekend's home date with Colorado.

Road games at USC, Cal and OSU loom.

I'll likely be at home once again afrettin' and asweatin' them out.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Truth


For George McGovern.



He had my vote.

He had the guts to admit a mistake:

"I accepted their scenario, though I was still disturbed. Only Senators Wayne Morse and Earnest Gruening voted against the Tonkin Resolution; they were truly right from the very start. My vote for the resolution is the one I most regret during my public career. It violated my own record against the Eisenhower resolution authorizing American action at presidential discretion in the Middle East. I should have known better than to be rationalized out of my conviction in the Tonkin case. Later I commiserated with Bill Fulbright; he was just telling Nelson and me what Johnson had told him. He was more than to make up for his own mistake in the turbulent years ahead. The lesson the Tonkin vote taught me -- never to trade what I see as a truth for a winking assurance in a back room -- probably explains why I now have a habit of speaking out publicly what some of my colleagues in the Senate prefer to say privately."


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


On "debate" night, this.


Eating the Young

There is a truism regarding college football that has me concerned about how Oregon might weather its Thursday night game at Tempe against a more veteran ASU team, as well as Oregon's campaign for a fourth straight PAC title.

Young players are prone to hit a wall at some point in the long season, particularly true freshmen. Their adaptation and acclimation to the rigors of the college regimen is key as fatigue begins to settle in.

True freshmen are particularly vulnerable, which is why coaches would rather red-shirt a frosh if possible.

Oregon is playing a lot of true freshmen now, relying on them in fact, due to some off-field issues and injuries.  In the near future this will help them; right now it is a dangerous scenario.

Young minds begin to wander (some of us old guys' minds do as well), and the Zen-like focus that is required to maintain a top-notch performance level is prone to compromise.

Adjustments to the school schedule, the pressure of expectations, the new girlfriend, the growing yet immature body--all of these things factor into the performance of youngsters.

We'll see, but I won't be shocked if Oregon loses Thursday night.  Tempe is tough in 90 degree heat against a solid veteran team, and in front of 70K hostile fans.



I watched this excellent five-part documentary last night.  Here is part 1.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The Accordion Player/Charles Lucas

Charles Lucas forwards this from Estonia, where he is currently traveling with and documenting the lives of a band of Gypsies.

Lucas informs me this shot was in fact taken in Romania.  My bad, sorry.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Think Again

For your enjoyment.  You can thank me later.


Baseball Tonight?

I stream college football games from the Interweb every weekend.

Lately, I haven't been able to connect with the baseball playoffs, but there is now an outside chance my site (based in the EU) will make the Giants/Cardinals available tonight.

I'll have to check it out.

Streaming baseball presented no problem last year.  Access has changed this year for reasons unknown to me; still I wouldn't mind watching tonight's action from The City.


Friday, October 12, 2012


After watching Arizona State dismantle Colorado last night I'm nervous about Oregon's upcoming game in Tempe, where 70,000 loud fans will make for a tough venue.

The Ducks better be ready or they could easily get knocked off.

ASU, like OSU, is a much improved team this season.

Thursday night at 6 p.m PT on ESPN.



I'm not a big conspiracy buff, but something is up with this discovery.

There may indeed be a deep-sea species in the ocean's depths that is plotting the takeover of our most cherished thoughts.

Are our dreams and aspirations in peril?

What if this species is plotting to take over the American Dream itself?

What if all of a sudden the majority of the world's wealth became centered in the blood vessels of a few gigantic eyeballs?

Scary thought, right?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Old Friends



My country tried like hell to destroy this, and thankfully failed.


Words (1986)

Zappa held his own against these three freaks.  Was one of them supposed to be on his side?

O the good old days...

Of these characters, the buffoonish Lofton is the only one still alive.

And lest we forget, Zappa was the lone artist in the discussion, and while that didn't faze the reactionaries it is worth noting.

The Reagan 80s were a trip, man.

Zappa had guts to do this, righteous anger, and truth on his side.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


George Plimpton featured him in Paper Lion, a classic of participatory journalism.  Alex Karras did the rest on his own.

Suffered football-related dementia, dead at 77.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Team Effort

East vs. West College Classic


Rain a Comin'

People get ready, it is gonna rain...

Days and days of dry weather are about to end.

Sad but true.


Box Tops

Post-agrarian blues?


Tecumseh Valley

One of the great tunes from Steve Earle's Train a Comin' (1995).

This is a Townes Van Zandt cover.

Earle at the mountain top, feeling Townes' poetry/story.


College Life

This is an important essay.

Your assignment is to read it, absorb it, and live by its call to good sense.

You will not be tested on its subject matter.

Your intellectual and intuitive comprehension of the material, ascertained through our common discourse, will, however, be reflected in your final grade.


Monday, October 8, 2012

OSU's Mannion Hurt

This can't be good for OSU, and just as they were beginning to roll.

It's too bad injuries play such an integral part in the college game.

Backup QBs tend to be backups for a reason.  That is they aren't as good as the first string guys.

Can OSU win with the second guy under center?

We'll see.


Publishing Day/Charles Deemer

I am pleased to publish this book by Charles Deemer at Round Bend Press.  Varmints is his fourth publication for RBP.

A tragi-comic opera of the Old West

"In the 1988-9 theater season in Portland, Oregon,

Steve Smith, artistic director of Theatre Workshop,
produced a retrospective of my work he called
“Charles Deemer's Oregon.” This became a season of
three plays at the Firehouse Theatre: revivals of The
Half-Life Conspiracy and Waitresses; and concluding
with the premiere of a new play, which became
Varmints. The latter was supported by a grant from
the Oregon Arts Commission. The play opened on
April 28, 1989, directed by Gary O'Brien.

A decade later I became interested in writing for
opera. My first project was the libretto to Dark
Mission, a 2006 opera by the composer John Nugent.
The project went so well that John and I wanted to do
another, and I suggested adapting my stage play,
Varmints. John, however, found career and life
demands so pressing that he decided to concentrate
on the more popular form of musical theater. I ended
up with a libretto but no composer.

A draft of the new libretto remained buried in the
mess of my home office until I stumbled upon it a few
years later. I read it and liked it. I began revising it,
and this book is the result of the effort.

Here, then, is a libretto that desperately needs
music. I publish it in order to make it available to
composers. Someone, I hope, will find the material
exciting enough to bring it to musical life."

Charles Deemer
October 5, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It Can't Be Overstated

Portland educator and writer Bill Bigelow strikes again!

A must read for Columbus Day.



I was eleven and frightened.

My mother and I went to the neighbors' house.  That family had a basement and we rode the storm out there.  Figured the shack we lived in wouldn't survive the night.

We lived in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and didn't bear the brunt of the winds finally, so the impact wasn't as bad as in other places.

The old house stood up and I lived there another seven years.  This storm and the snowstorm of 1969 were the two most memorable weather events in my life.

Seems like yesterday.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Football Craziness

Heck of a football Saturday.

Everybody lost except Oregon and Oregon State.

That's the way we like it, rah...rah...


Friday, October 5, 2012

Chad Doing

This guy is the best sports host in the Portland radio market.

Chad Doing formerly aired from 6 a.m to 10 a.m. weekdays.  He moved last month to the afternoon drive time, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Give him a listen.

But for his love of Hall and Oates and some other crappy music that he'll use in segue, he has great instincts, edge and timing.

Interesting guests most of the time, including a few call-in pets he humanely takes care of because he seems to genuinely care for their well-being.



Two by DeLillo.

Comparing and contrasting the young author with the older, mature author.

End Zone is something of a football story, but more so a moral tale about the potential nuclear disasters that are constantly at hand in our dangerous and absurd world.

DeLillo's football vernacular is somewhat skewed, his humor somewhat minor at times, but he hits the mark often enough in this 1972 tale to please.

Funny thing is I tried to read this years ago and couldn't.  Maybe I've grown more accepting of authors who skew things in general--or frequently miss the mark.

The other one is 2009's Falling Man, a meditation on post 9/11 American consciousness.

Conclusion:  While I've not yet finished either book, my early opinion is that the later work certainly shows fundamental growth in DeLillo's powers to captivate and engage.

One would think that is how it should work, but it doesn't always, right?

Need to do more reading like this.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Barner Scolded

This is good to hear.

Maybe Kenjon Barner will take it upon himself to run with more authority for the remainder of the season.

Barner certainly has the potential.

He'll never be as tough as LaMichael James, but I agree with his coach.

There is an opportunity to show more than he has but for two occasions early on this year.



Sketchy WiFi all day today and even now.  That's the miserable news.

The good news is K.C. Bacon dropped off some of the video he shot in England for me last month.

Can definitely use it in my docupersonal as I touch upon the unnerving trip I took to the UK and France years ago.  This madness is a funny interlude in my book, A Marvelous Paranoia, which I'm stunned to realize I published two years ago already.

My, my, where does time go?

Happy to get this stuff.  Thanks, K.C., if you're out there in cyber land.  Really appreciate it.


Earl King

Caught some of this guy on our local community college station KMHD this evening.  It had been awhile since I listened.

One of the best of the New Orleans players.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


(Lincoln vs. Douglas)

Get ready.  Or not.

Can't say I'm ready at all. There are better things to do with my evening, like just about anything else.

But let Ralph have a word.


Masters of Athens

Where else, but in the cradle?


Miles Davis




The one and only Ben E. King!


Ten Years After the Congressional Authorization of War Against Iraq

Oh how I argued with people, even my friends, about this brewing disaster.

In hindsight I'd say that many of those friends are now ex-friends.  They didn't get it, simply didn't understand.

As a free man in a free society, it is often a good thing to challenge the status quo and call jingoism out. If you have to flip people off as you walk out, or get thrown out of their lives, so be it.

There is nothing worse than having to listen to or read crap when you know you're in the middle of it.

There is too little time left in my life to put up with the mob, and yes, the mob ruled in this instance.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Caught Looking Ahead

Oregon continued to look rough around the edges in beating Washington State Saturday night in Seattle.  If this team, particularly the young quarterback Marcus Mariota, ever gets a grip it might finally excel.

Or meet the fanatical expectations of Oregon's followers.

Meanwhile, Oregon State went into the Tuscon desert Saturday evening and played what amounted to a more entertaining game against Arizona, winning on a late TD pass by Sean Mannion, who is slowly winning me over.

If it comes down to the Civil War (OSU vs. UO) for the PAC North title the advantage goes to OSU with its home field and jacked up defense.  The 2009 CW game was for the old PAC-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth, I believe.  Oregon won, before losing to Ohio State in the Granddaddy Bowl.

Oregon's young line has struggled early, but the CW result this year will depend on which team improves the most by season's end.

Nearly at the halfway mark of the season.  Man, it's speeding past.