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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Phil, Fires, Maclean

This is an absolutely messed up story.

Very tragic.

Reminds me of a book I read years ago titled "Young Men and Fire," the story of a 1949 Montana firefighting disaster written by Norman Maclean, the author of "A River Runs Through It."

Also, just received word that Phil Washington, Kal Tanner's collaborator with The Webbers in 90's era Northwest Portland, has passed away.

Phil was a great guitarist and songwriter in his own right.

Sad news everywhere tonight, no doubt...


Dear Landlord/CCC

Don't you ever get tired of fucking with people, Dear Landlord?


Low Brow

'Tis a pity more don't listen before they become offended by good sense.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Heat Wave

The unsurprising results of some recent important behavioral research.

I always suspected this might be true.

But with knowledge comes opportunity.  I plan to make adjustments to rectify the obvious.

In other news, my local grocer's refrigeration system collapsed under our heat wave last night, and this morning I was unable to buy milk. The store's entire stock had to be tossed, and so...

... so I ate eggs rather than my preferred bowl of cereal this morning.

Damn interesting, right?

(Oops...there I go again.)


Friday, June 28, 2013

Ben Webster Sextet

If I don't post this who in the hell will?


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Duck for Cover

I thought the sanctions would be heavier, basically more loss of schollies.

I didn't think a bowl ban was likely.

The NCAA lost its nerve while considering the fact that Willie Lyles' body of work included dealing with numerous other institutions, all of which paid less than Oregon for his "service." In scouring the gray areas of its own rules, the NCAA couldn't find evidence indicating Lyles paid off any of the players he "mentored," or otherwise shared the booty he reaped from Oregon and other schools.

The NCAA is most concerned with keeping the student-athletes poor; they're easier to exploit that way.  If Lyles gave any of his kids money, nobody spoke of it.  That's a sign of the street cred a "street agent" earns if he is indeed looking out for his guys.

Lyles played everybody expertly, equaling Kelly's tactics of obfuscation and pseudo ignorance.

At the time of the transaction between Kelly and Lyles, a limitation on the amount programs could pay for recruiting services wasn't codified.  That'll change, if it hasn't already.

The sum Oregon paid raised flags, but it didn't necessarily prove deliberate malice. That it was done transparently and self-reported reflected well on Oregon--creating a gee-whiz, we-didn't-know-moment.

Oregon had a great team of lawyers.  I think the NCAA grasped its own incompetency enough to realize Oregon might sue against more stringent sanctions, and perhaps win, leaving more egg where it is never wanted.

Kelly earned what is, given his present circumstance as a well-paid NFL coach, a minor bitch-slap--essentially a two-year college coaching ban.  Weak.  I'd have banned him from college ball for five or more years.

In that sense, the NCAA almost did something right.  It could have made an example of Kelly, but in the end it wasn't tough enough when it really counted.  The billion-dollar coaches need to be reined in.

Here is an enlightened view of the entire fiasco.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I went over to the Wednesday Farmers' Market in the Park Blocks this morning and picked out a couple of nice artichokes for dinner this evening.

I selected larger flowers this time because the little ones haven't the fleshy quality that I prefer in the choke, and of course the bigger the choke the bigger its heart, which is where the true essence of the food is stored.

Here's a basic no-brainer recipe that I've been following ever since I discovered and learned how to cook artichokes.  Like the intro says, cutting the bristly tips from the petals isn't necessary unless you're trying to beautify the choke for your dinner guests or your own sense of aesthetics.

I don't have guests often, and I lack the patience to cut the leaves, so I skip that step and get after it.

One word of warning.  You can overcook the choke, which softens it too much, especially its heart.  Since that is the best part, don't overcook the thing.  A tender but firm heart is best.

Test its tenderness by sticking a sharp knife through the choke as one does to test a baked potato.

Make or buy your favorite dipping sauce and dig in.  I like garlic butter with lemon and mayo, which is sick, I know.  But soooooooo good.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Docs You May Have Seen

Lucas turned me on to this.

Dooley turned me on to this.

It's nice to have such good buds engaged with history.


Better Late Than Never

It's about time.

Per Moseley's blog at the Register Guard, the NCAA will announce its findings, sanctions, against the University of Oregon football program tomorrow morning.

This, from the writer who originally broke the story.

Can't wait.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Morning Breakdown


Sunday Morning Revelation/Lance Simons

My nephew Lance is a singer/songwriter.  It's high time you start listening.


Sunday Morning Sing Along

REM back in the day.


Sunday Morning Guitar Gods

Yesterday I lost my religion, but today I found it in the Church of Bob... Buddy Dooley


Sunday Morning/The Church of Bob

This Sunday morning as we ready for church, we are listening to the Apostle Bob, and loving it.


Friday, June 21, 2013

A Thing of Beauty

You want to see a cool, extremely well-made video?

Of course you do.

It won't be long now.


Reading Now

It's been awhile, but I'm back on track with my old pal Charles Bukowski.  I like to revisit every hipster's favorite literary curmudgeon occasionally just to keep a feel for his raw, fire-from-every-direction style.

Like a mad house painter untrained and unleashed with a cheap spray gun, he could make a mess, but in the end you figured out it was all by design.  The house would come out in various hues, scratched up, bleeding paint in inappropriate places, but it looked good for some strange reason.

It looked, well, original.

Buk transferred his Pollock-like instincts to paper via his "typer," working fast.  Close was always good enough if the story, often a flimsy retelling of a drunken night, held up.

The more juxtaposition the better, it seemed.  His wrote raggedy, lean and to-the-point prose.  It looked deceptively easy (his imitators know otherwise).  Occasionally, it sang.  Always, it entertained through its sure audacity.

In the old days, I imagine the academics hated Bukowski, and likely still do.  I knew a U.S. Cultural History prof a few years ago who wasn't familiar with him.  Hadn't even heard the name.  That guy, a tenured old PSU ivory towerist, did know his Kerouac, however.

Bukowski wasn't clean or striving toward some autonomously over-wrought emotion. (Neither was Kerouac, by the way, who needed more initial editing). He didn't layer on the introspection like the cleansed and acceptable New Yorker heroes--Updike or Roth for instance--who were good but part of a breed--ingrates of the tony, big-magazine school.

Bukowski started off off-Broadway in tiny spaces, to use a theatre analogy.  He stayed there for years, and then, rather than moving to Broadway like an unknown actor getting a big break, somebody came to him and offered to knock down the walls separating all those small rooms.

He was so far out of the mainstream that the river took a new direction, in other words.  All it took was a visionary with deep pockets to make it so--and that was John Martin and his Black Sparrow Press.

Bukowski was a natural-born self-marketer.  All he had to do was be himself and write funny, wry stories.  Easy, until you try it and hear the silence.

Bukowski made a lot of money late in his lifetime, when early on it appeared he'd be a dismal failure.  He sorted and carried mail for a dozen years for godsake!

Those experiences came together in Post Office, the writer's first novel.

He drank, but perhaps not as much as he pretended to--after all many drunken tales are pure fabrications after the fact.  Whatever his real habits, the lifestyle and his openness to experience allowed him the opportunity to write.

The point, Bukowski's objective, was to make fiction real at a very fundamental level.

Like any good writer, he put to paper what he felt, and more importantly he didn't quit and worked hard at his craft.

Like any good storyteller, he didn't let his politics, if he had any (he was an instinctive anarchist but wouldn't have talked about it), get in the way.

There is a lesson to be learned therein.


Worth Repeating


Game Day

OSU has a second crack at MSU today at noon after two "elimination" wins in Omaha this week, including a bashing of Louisville and a pitching-duel victory over Indiana.

Taking the long road back, they'll have to beat the Miss. school twice to stay alive.  Win today, and OSU plays 'em again tomorrow.

In the opening game of the series versus MSU Saturday the Beavs lost 5-4, just missing a game-winning homer in the ninth when a long drive was knocked down by the wind.

The dimensions of the Omaha ballpark are absurdly expansive.  To date, no one has hit one out in dead-center, for instance.

It's a pitchers' ballpark for sure, and OSU has the pitching, so who knows?

Update:  Not going well in Omaha for the Beavs.  Starter Andrew Moore knocked out after 4 2/3 innings and giving up four runs and five straight hits, including a homer.

Not over 'til it's over, but the fat lady is warming up.  Four-zip, MSU.

Done:  4-1 MSU.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

OSU 1 -- Indiana 0

Oregon State over Indiana 1-0!

Matt Boyd of OSU threw a gem.


Playoff Redux?

OSU has a second chance to advance in the CWS again tonight versus Indiana on ESPN.

In 2006 the Beavs lost their initial game and bounced back to win the championship.

Perhaps they're on that road again?

They certainly have the talent, so we shall see...


Sad Loss

Michael Hastings, whose 2010 Rolling Stone  interview with Gen. Stanley McChrystal landed the then commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan in hot water and cost the general his job, died in an automobile accident in Los Angeles early Tuesday morning.

Hastings, 33, penned two noteworthy books in his short life, including this one.

The writer's work made him many enemies in high places, so I expect an investigation of this accident to be in-depth.

You know, just to rule out assassination.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Baseball Fantasy

Brent Wojahn of The Oregonian took this photo Monday night at the home opener of the Hillsboro Hops baseball club.

I'm fascinated by this photo, which doesn't even look like a photo.  It looks like a painting, with a rainbow conveniently added to evoke some sort of fantasyland, or perhaps a dream of a baseball-like experience.

The lone vendor looks like he was drawn and painted in as an accessory as well; a concession to Norman Rockwell's vision of Americana, perhaps?

The grandstand in the background looks like an artist's rendering of what a grandstand would look like in a new park.  Same with the figures on the diamond and in the dugout.

The photog did something special in creating this shot, though I'm not sure what it was.  All I can tell you is it is amazing, like magic.



The social cost of organized games.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Re: The Beavers


The competition is fierce, but you simply do not want to start with a loss in a double-elimination tourney.

No way, no how.



I have coupons from the Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program (a socialist handout to seniors not to be confused with large-scale socialist handouts to agribusiness CEOs) redeemable at the local Farmers' Market.

I'm gonna buy some artichokes and asparagus today if I can find them.  See what else is there.

Then I'm gonna eat like a king.


Friday, June 14, 2013


Horse sense for our Times.


College World Series

All the news that's tits on the Beavers in Omaha for the College World Series.

The Beavs open the competition Sat. at noon vs. Mississippi State.

Ought to be a great show.  Here's an artist's rendering of the fancy new stadium built last year for the annual showcase in Omaha.

Tits up, Beavs!


New Series

Charles Deemer has kicked off a new series of books (accessible on Kindle and other smallish electronic devices).

Here is his blogspot with the appropriate info.

Deemer says the stories are re-tooled screenplays he has written over the years.  More a "geek project than a writing project," these are fast-paced stories presented in a lean and mean vertical style rather than a typical screenwriting format.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Feel Like Dead Weight


What to do?

Oh, I have a couple of movies to watch.  I'd better get on it.



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Kid Grew Up


Late in the Game

I've often wondered what my best piece of work has been in recent years.

I think this is it (I could be wrong).

Before my awakening, before I sobered up (sort of) and founded RBP while determining I'd misused an entire life, I liked this play.

With any luck, and focus, I'll again write something I feel good about.

Seriously, why else would I be doing this?


Boehner, Feinstein and Obama Agree to Fuck Over the People of the United States of America!

Finally, a consensus in Washington.

Traitors are bad.

Everybody is suspect.


Oregon State Returning to Omaha, CWS

The OSU Beavers won it all, back-to-back College World Series titles in '06 and '07.  Those were exciting tournaments to watch, because I always want the home-state teams to do well nationally.

And since the University of Oregon has recently failed twice, last year and last week, to make it to Omaha when on the cusp, I gotta root for somebody...


Maher on Reagan

I don't often watch Maher for two reasons.  One I don't have a television, and two, I don't always love his shtick.  But this piece, offered by RBP contributor Charles Lucas, has the clarion call of truth.

I recall the surreal day Reagan died and how he was deified by the mainstream press and his minions in America's hinterlands who couldn't name the three branches of the U.S. Government if their lives depended on it.

The rich certainly had reason to applaud his work, but why the lower middle-class and below fell for Reagan's brand of exclusionary bullshit is one of the great political questions of our time.

Well, until you recall that America is a deeply anti-intellectual and racist country; that is, a mirror image of Reagan himself.  Sans the millions and a movie career, of course.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ball and Chain


My Secret

We are sorry, but this post has been redacted for national security purposes.


A Nest of Snakes


I'd best not say it.  Someone might be listening.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Naked People!

Portland's annual Naked Bike Ride just commenced, starting from the Art Museum near my pad.

The crowd is, er, enormous, and loud.

Boy, I'm glad I'm not out on the streets tonight.  I might get molested or something...

On second thought, see ya!


Friday, June 7, 2013



Sanchez and Boutte

A casual jam results in genius.


Old Man Poet

I'm watching the Dodgers and Braves on at the moment.

Eighty-five year-old Vin Scully is calling the game.



Shared Award/Oregon and the NCAA

Sounds like the NCAA is drawing closer to a decision, finally, regarding Oregon's football program.

I expect the news to be bad, worse than a lot of die-hard Duck fans imagine.

The sin was egregious, to say the least.  Oregon's Chip Kelly, now the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, paid one Willie Lyles, a Houston-based college football talent scout, 25K for a recruiting "package" which materialized in the form of a highly-coveted recruit/running back out of Texas named Lache Seastrunk.

Seastrunk never played a down at Oregon before transferring to Baylor, near his hometown of Temple, where he has become a star and potential Heisman candidate.  For the record, Seastrunk and Lyles, who were close before this business began, have both denied that the payment in any fashion influenced the running back's decision to come to Oregon. But the claim is thinly veiled, which is one reason a judgment on this case has taken so long.

The absurdity inherent in this situation is that Kelly and Oregon's compliance office (being the entity that interprets and supposedly abides by the NCAA's rules) never tried to conceal the payment, as it fell in the hazy category of "recruiting services" that many college football programs rely on to find recruits.

Oregon cut Lyles a fat check, too fat as it turned out. Oregon in effect out-bid other colleges who recruited  Seastrunk, though the NCAA hasn't been able to unequivocally prove as much.

There is plausible deniability everywhere, in other words.

The typical cost of a package of recruiting information, even in Willie Lyles' orbit of business, was 5K.  The 25K check threw up red flags throughout the college football world.  In fact, Oregon never received a recruiting package from Lyles, until after questions arose about the deal.

What finally arrived after the fact was a hastily drawn package of outdated and useless material.

Kelly without question took advantage of a gray area in the NCAA guidelines.

He stepped over the line, and essentially embarrassed the powers-that-be in Indianapolis, where the NCAA holds shop and controls the purse strings of the gazillion dollar business of college football.

I expect the NCAA to make an example of Oregon even as it attempts to rewrite the rules governing recruiting services like the one Lyles ran.

For Oregon's role in this disaster and for the NCAA's inability to resolve the situation in an efficient and timely manner, Dooley and I proudly present this week's "Idiot of the Week Award" to the University of Oregon Athletic Department and the NCAA's Committee on Infractions (COI).

Well done, folks.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

St. Clair/Tribute to Cockburn

Jeffery St. Clair remembers, in this moving piece, his pal and fellow rebel Alexander Cockburn, who died July 21 last year.

Cockburn would have been 72 today.

Few writers in my lifetime have made as much sense to me as A.C., few are as lucid, funny, as twisted by irony and controlled rage, as stoic and certain, and as gifted as he was with the ability to coolly eviscerate the loathsome in humanity.

He was not without his foibles, as St. Clair notes, but he was blessed with genius.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dr. John


Blue Mountain/Epitaph

From 1995's Dog Days.





Wait, they're not watching out for you and me?

BTW, why aren't there any artists on this list?


On Writing

Joyce Carol Oates with some solid advice on how to get published.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Free is Good

RBP author and Portland State adjunct professor, Charles Deemer has a new, free product on Amazon that all of you budding screenwriters out there ought to investigate ASAP.

As one who participated years ago in his expensive screenwriting class for humanoids at PSU, I can tell you the prof knows his stuff, so this free tutorial for Androids just might be the next logical step in the development of your Hollywood screenwriting career.

The only drawback for men--the app doesn't include all the hot women that normally flock to Deemer's regular class.  However, if you become a famous screenwriter that situation will no longer matter, for chicks dig screenwriters and they will come around.


RBP Global Consulting, Inc.

I have ordered Dooley to infiltrate as many of these institutions as he can over the course of the next 12 months, and to report back to me with a detailed strategy on how to best fight "The Man."


Saturday, June 1, 2013

No Baseball Today

That damn blackout rule just burns my buns.

I can't get today's free game, Mariners vs. Twins, because Root carries the game here in Portland and I don't have cable.

Life is just so damn unfair sometimes...



Can you name the three iconic sports figures included on the cover of this album?

Give it a try before reading down the story for the answers.

You get bonus points from RBP if you can name everybody.

I had a few favorites amid the crowd when I bought the album, without permission, while running a grocery errand for me mum, who wanted to knock me head off afterward.

I'd forgotten who the athletes were until I looked at the cover closely and recognized Liston.  I didn't find the other two before reading the answer, nor did I recall they were in the picture.

Dylan, Brando and W.C. Fields always stuck out for me.