Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sarah and Young Wynton




TS

Currently Reading


(Melissa and Doug)

Melissa Meszaros currently books acts at Slabtown in Northwest Portland and wields a highly autobiographical pen.

Doug owns the club.

Buy the book, you'll like it.

TS

Sad Horse



A Slabtown drummer/bartender.

Come over to Slabtown and have a drink with me.  Tell me what you know.

Bring money, I'm a little short this week.


TS

Idiot of the Week/Bachmann

Now why on earth--you may wonder--would Dooley and I present the coveted Idiot of the Week award to Michele Bachmann?

I know, this one seems a bit incongruous. After all, RBP doesn't cotton much to right wing ideologues, and seeing another one fade to inconsequential, like Sarah, ought to make Dooley and I happy, right?

But it doesn't, and here's why.  Because Dooley and I are disappointed in her recent decision to eschew another congressional run.  Her decision makes her a quitter, which is all the info we need to determine she is indeed idiotic.

All that power, all that free TV time, all that taxpayer money, perks, fame, Fox News cameos, Republican sex, etc., will now  undeservedly go toward someone else, someone who hasn't a chance of being as entertaining as the Minnesota  bombshell with the Holy Bible strapped between her thighs.  Frankly, that saddens us.

What a waste.

Just as importantly, whomever takes her seat might actually have a brain, and that scares us.


TS

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dumbed Down

Has Alex Gibney blown it?

I haven't seen the film, and I'm not sure I want to after listening to Gibney.

Judge for yourself as you listen to this NPR segment or read the transcript of the documentary filmmaker's discussion of his new film, We Steal Secrets.

The interview has a Lohan or Kardashian-like Hollywood Tattler quality to it, accentuated by its reliance on salaciousness.  It made me cringe last week when I listened on OPB.  I thought of a sewer springing a wikileak and flooding out of my radio.

My, how far NPR has fallen in recent years.

Gibney goes off on Manning's sexuality and Assange's apparently rogue appetites without giving much consideration to what ought to be a few of the questions at hand: Was the Iraq War a criminal conspiracy perpetuated by the George W. Bush administration, a conspiracy continued and further exasperated by our current POTUS? We do know that war crimes were and are being committed, don't we?  Shouldn't we be addressing the situation?  Why not?

Sounds like he may have missed the boat on this one, creating a hatchet job focused on personalities rather than real issues. Surprising for a guy who has done stellar work in the past.

Here is an example of Gibney's better side.


TS  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Critic's Choice



Suggested by Chris Pilon, of Houston.


TS

Kitchen Work



As one who spent plenty of time in "the back of the house" in the restaurant trade, this scene resonates for me--albeit under circumstances I've never, thankfully, had to confront.

Well done...so authentic.


TS

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On Second Thought

I take it back, I take it back. The pilot started a little slow for me, but I was into the series midway through the second episode.

I'm wiping the egg off my face.

Treme is absolutely fucking brilliant.

Little did I know, little did I know.

See how those of us who don't subscribe to HBO live our lives?  In complete and utterly contemptible darkness...


TS

Monday, May 27, 2013

CCR



Happy Memorial Day everybody!


TS

Sunday, May 26, 2013

On Being Late for the Party

I started Treme last night, just three years late.

It only took me a decade to catch up with The Wire.

I must be getting better at noticing these pop-cultural markers...

Still, The Wire had me from the opening theme;  the Treme opening sort of bored me.  I'll give it some more time and effort, but I think I may have limited out on Simon.

 Not that it matters...


TS

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Angel Pagan

(Angel Pagan)

Angel Pagan's walk-off, inside-the-park home run in the 10th wins it for the Giants over Colorado this afternoon.

A rare play, set up by a wicked bounce off the wall and supported by Pagan's churning speed.

Pretty darn exciting.

TS

Friday, May 24, 2013

Idiot of the Week/Fincher

Idiot of the week.

It is past time to reprise this great weekly RBP honor roll.

His family has benefited from 4 million in federal subsidies over the past decade, and he wants to cut SNAP.

Ever notice how these morons always cry out for smaller government, that is until they need government to enrich themselves?


TS

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weather Report

Christ, it was a record-cold and wet day yesterday.

No wonder I felt like a miserable cockroach scurrying for a dry and warm nook in my cranial abyss all day.

Know what I like about Oregon? We don't have Oklahoma-style tornadoes.

Know what I dislike about it? We don't have San Diego's clime, either.

Feels like we're due for an earthquake, however.


TS

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Weekend



The famous tracking shot.

An essay by Gary Indiana.


TS

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sudden Poetry














Found this at Deemer's Writing Life II.  I like it.


TS

Too Fast

This is an odd baseball story, and indicative of how times have changed, I guess.

The kid throws what is equivalent to an 80 mph fastball (field adjusted), which is deemed too fast for the Little League team he plays on?

You're kidding me!  Really talented kids do that all the time.  Ever watched a Little League World Series?

I played Little League ball when I was 12 years-old, and faced kids who threw harder than that every week.  I couldn't hit them, either, but I'd go up to the plate and wave at the pitches and do the best I could.  I struck out a lot.

One kid in my cohort threw so hard he scared me.  He was a tall, extremely fluid flame thrower.  I hated even stepping to the plate against the guy.  He was the first top-flight talent I met in the game, and we later played on the same high school team, where he became our ace and threw well into the 90-plus range, becoming a two-time consensus All-State pitcher here in Oregon.

I didn't like hitting against him in inter-squad games either, the only guy like that I can remember being frightened of when I stepped in to hit.

He turned down a very sizable bonus contract (for the time) out of high school and accepted a full-ride to the University of Oregon, where he promptly blew out his arm the next year and never recovered his stuff.

It would be interesting to follow the kid featured in the above story, see how it pans out for him.  You can only hope the adults don't mess his head up too much.


TS

Friday, May 17, 2013

Marlin Broadcasters

Okay, here's the deal.

I've been watching a lot of baseball on MLB.com lately.  The website has been in business for over ten years now, but I just discovered it.  So I'm a little late in my evaluation of things, and I have no idea what it was like in the early days, but I can tell you it has its charms today.

An old TV guy, I was used to the broadcasts on Fox on the weekends, when baseball was all business and Joe Buck and Tim McCarver called games with the righteously cold neutrality of journalists.

Before that I had my time with the Chicago Cubs' great, occasionally drunk, homer-announcer Harry Carey, and Bob Costas on NBC.

Hell, I go back long enough to recall Dizzy Dean working color on CBS's black & white Yankees' broadcasts in the 60s!

All of them, Dean and those that came after him, told stories. They lauded the game, and referenced its history whenever the action paused long enough to allow them the opportunity, an historically frequent occurrence.

MLB.com shows a free game a day, and the show always features the home team's broadcasting crew.  The crews are often lacking.

Tonight I watched the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks from Miami, with Miami broadcasters Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton calling the game.  They excel at telling stories and relating the game's history.

In a game-long homage to Cuba-born players, tonight's broadcast was a pure pleasure to listen to.

Waltz and Hutton kept it interesting, even during another Marlin blow-out loss.  And they have no problem granting plaudits to the opposition when warranted, which many announcers are loathe to do.

Truly dazzling...


TS

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hedges

Make of it what you will.

The root question in all of this is--exactly what is the nature of "national security?"

Is national security a question of protecting the individual rights of citizens, or the rights of corporations hell-bent on plundering the world's resources--ours and others'--in the name of unfettered capitalism?

Something else?  A process to protect a myth?  The residue of exceptionalism?

Is it to assuage terror, under the ever-broadening definition of that word, or to hold power so tightly that it restrains freedom?

Fascinating...

Two truths regarding empire--it has its limitations, and it always crumbles.


TS

Beatnik Poet



"Tomorrow is dragsville," man...


TS

Hooray...

MLB.com is back in my good graces today.

Game at 4:05 PT.








TS

Waiting for Godot



"Be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything..."

Act Two.

His bio.

Related round table.


TS

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Insurance

I won't lie, I could use a job every now and then.

Thus, I've had a resume floating in the WebWorld for years now.

Only comebacks I ever get are from insurance companies.  To paraphrase--I'd make a good sales associate in some fucking scam organization with its greedy, slimy hands in your pockets.

I get phone calls and e-mails from the sonsofbitches all the time.

Little do they know, little do they know...


TS

Retired

I don't give a fuck about this guy, but you might.

Just kidding...





TS

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just Don't



Rodney McCray tried to kill himself in Portland in 1991.

Bryce, rule number one is pay attention to the warning track.  It's there for a reason.

Here's how a minor league ball girl does it.


TS

Monday, May 13, 2013

New Work

His new site is humming along with the sort of searching, reflective, humbling poetry that made CD's first book of poetry for RBP such a pleasure to publish, and listen to.

There are some major, major lines in his recent work, a probing of the depths as well as the heights of the human condition.

Go for it, CD!


TS

Banjo Man

(Chris)

My buddy Chris in Houston has one of these, the lucky guy.

Gotta love the tone!



TS

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Coens



A little culture mixed with violence in Paris.


TS

Once Upon a Time











I wasn't notified about this, perhaps because I wasn't one of the team's stars, but my 1971 junior college baseball team (Linn-Benton Roadrunners) was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Hall of Fame in 2011.

That was the 40th anniversary of LBCC's founding and start of its baseball program.

I'm fourth from the left in the back row of the pic.

We won the Oregon Community College Athletic Association (OCCAA) championship that first season, and just missed going to the eight-team JC National Championship playoff in Colorado Springs when our centerfielder dropped--flat dropped--what should have been the final out in our regional championship game against Mt. Hood C.C.

Instead, two Mt. Hood runners scored and we ended up losing the game.

All and all, not bad for a team that attended classes in modular trailers next to the school's construction site and played its home games on local high school fields in and near Albany, Oregon.

The OCCAA merged with Washington's JC athletic association to form the NWAACC in 1983.

I wonder if somebody owes me a plaque or certificate of acknowledgement?   I think my grandson ought to have one or the other if it exists.  He just started playing pee-wee T-ball in Minnesota.


TS

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The New Stars

I discovered only last month that MLB.com offers a free baseball game every day for online viewing.

As much as I occasionally grouse about the state of professional sports, I find myself looking forward to the broadcasts most days, if only to watch an inning or two.

There sure are a lot of new stars playing the game these days.  I'd lost track.

I saw a 21 year-old kid named Manny Machado make a couple of great fielding plays at third base yesterday for the Orioles, which got me to thinking about Graig Nettles.

I looked him up.  He's 68 years-old.

Seems like yesterday that I admired the skills of Graig Nettles.


TS

God Bless You, Tracfone

I buy Tracfone minutes for my cell.  A wrong number or computer-generated call costs me a minute every time I respond to an unknown incoming ring and immediately hang up.

In this manner, I lose x-number of minutes every month to the unrestricted calls of commercialism, phone surveyors and people who think I'm Uncle Tim.

Despite that, the Tracfone is ideal for me because I'm a shy cell user and don't really like talking over the phone to begin with.

I keep one for unavoidable business and emergencies.

My philosophy is that if a phone call lasts longer than a minute it is largely a waste of time and nothing is being accomplished but the passing of pleasantries, mutual confusion, or bad news.

If for some reason you're talking to a bureaucrat or banker you're being led to slaughter to begin with, so why bother?

I've kept close track over recent months, and even with the unwanted calls that cost me each time I pick up, I've discovered that my monthly phone rate amounts to about $8.  Not bad.

This one small stroke of optimism is all you're getting out of me today.


TS

Stay Away

Good old Oregon has made another list, coming in numero uno in this common sense look at places not to retire.

Says our crime rate is well above the national average.

No doubt that is because of all the hillbillies that pack around here, the meth craving, and an assortment of scams that people run in order to survive.

Sounds like the ghost of former Governor Tom McCall at work.  He once famously said, "Come visit, but don't stay, please."

I think he was addressing Californians in particular.


TS

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Buscemi's Best



Steve Buscemi as Nick Reve, an independent film director.

If you've seen this 1995 Tom DeCillo classic about making a movie, you already know how superb it is.

If not, you really ought to find it.   It's one of my favorite all-timers.


TS

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The East Meets West Talkin' Conservative Blues

I found this in CounterPunch, of all places.

Mainstream conservatism gets a royal kick in the ass in this thoughtful piece by Ron Unz.  With conservative critics like Unz, it is no wonder today's Republican Party can't figure out what it believes or represents.

It's a long piece, but follow it closely and you'll find some highly persuasive writing which backs the notion that U.S. dissent is a many-toothed animal.


TS