Quote of the Day

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell

“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

BBall

(New home in the works at PSU)

Portland State and Oregon clashing tonight on the hardwood in Eugene.

I want PSU in this one, but the Vikings are getting handled at the moment.

Go Viks!


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Saturday, November 29, 2014

St. Marcus














(Oregonian photo)

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The Bear

After the 1982 season, Bryant, who had turned 69 that September, decided to retire, stating, "This is my school, my alma mater. I love it and I love my players. But in my opinion, they deserved better coaching than they have been getting from me this year." His last regular season game was a 23–22 loss to Auburn and his last postseason game was a 21–15 victory in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee over the University of Illinois. After the game, Bryant was asked what he planned to do now that he was retired. He replied "Probably croak in a week." His reply proved ominous.

Four weeks after making that comment, and just one day after passing a routine medical checkup, on January 25, 1983, Bryant checked into Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa after experiencing chest pain. A day later, when being prepared for an electrocardiogram, he died after suffering a massive heart attack. First news of Bryant's death came from Bert Bank (WTBC Radio Tuscaloosa) and on the NBC Radio Network (anchored by Stan Martyn and reported by Stewart Stogel). On his hand at the time of his death was the only piece of jewelry he ever wore, a gold ring inscribed "Junction Boys". He is interred at Birmingham's Elmwood Cemetery. A month after his death, Bryant was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Ronald Reagan. A moment of silence was held prior to Super Bowl XVII, played four days after Bryant's passing.

Source: Wikipedia

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Heh...


The FSU/Florida game is crazy entertaining and spirited, with morons on both sides acting out.

It's all on the line now. End of the 3rd.

Good lawd, the Floridians are unruly.

Ole' Miss. on the verge of knocking Miss. State out of it.  Cool.


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Memory



Roy Hargrove and his band were in Portland playing a gig at one of the bigger venues in town back in the '90s. But everyone knew the real shit was happening at Seafood Mama's, a jazz club on 21st Ave.

A storm had moved in and the entire neighborhood lost power just as Hargrove brought his players in for some after-hours cutting.

I was there--I lived around the corner--and a few others were in play for some late cocktails and jazz.

We lit candles.  Young Hargrove, who was just coming into his worldly place, played his horn.  His electric bass player thumped out lines without amplification.

The snare-and-cymbals kit his drummer brought in sounded fine.

What they produced by candlelight in a big storm was truly remarkable.  Intimacy might be the best word for it.

That cold, stormy night in Portland many years ago in an after-hours venue is one of my favorite memories of a glorious time.


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Stuffed and Ready

I certainly had a good holiday. Hope you did as well.

This is going to be--what else?--a long day of college football gazing as the regular season closes out before the conference championships happen next weekend.

I'm ready for all the big matchups, not the least of which is the OSU vs. Oregon game from Corvallis this evening.

Before then, I want to glimpse some of the others; notably, tOSU vs. Michigan and FSU vs. Florida games, which are like the local rivalry inasmuch as you can toss records out the window.  These types of contests are always closer in the end than the on-paper-talent would indicate they should be, often going to the wire.

Bizarre things have and can happen, and with my Ducks playing for a spot in the inaugural CFP, I'll be on the edge of my seat.  I'm personally on upset alert.

I'm focused.  I wonder if my alma mater will be?

On a superstitious note, I don't like it that people are already talking up next weekend's Arizona and Oregon championship game in Santa Clara.

The Ducks have too much hard work scheduled for this evening to be thinking about that.  It could be that UCLA fell into that trap yesterday, losing to Stanford.

All the talk leading up to that game was about how UCLA might win out and slip into the playoff. Stanford, a rugged team, had another notion.

The talent is too equal around the conference to expect anything to come easily.

All that stated, I expect Oregon to be focused, having learned the perils of not being as such in the recent past--too many times, in fact.

After that, it's a matter of which way the ball bounces.


TS

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Terence Connery



















Terence Connery: "Autumnal Inequities"

"I went to mail my rent check...I walked through a bike path of fake nature..."


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On the Varieties of Violence

Barack Obama, the obsequious errand boy for the financial and corporate plutocrats who own the U.S. government, made a pathetic appearance on national television to try to persuade the “natives” to remain peaceful in response to the non-indictment of the Ferguson killer-cop. His inane comments extolling the value of non-violence and the rule of law seemed strangely incongruent with the militaristic rhetoric and policies of his administration over the last few years.

Yet, Obama’s positions on law and violence are not as contradictory as they might appear when these positions are resituated within the context of imperial logic and the framework of power. Legitimate violence is always determined by history’s dominant powers and employed as a weapon to maintain and extend that dominance. Over the last five hundred years Europe emerged from the backwaters of history and cultural backwardness to predominance as a result of genocide and land theft in the Americas, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and colonial/capitalist development. The violent establishment of capitalism, racism, and heteropatriarchy enabled the West to impose its definitions of legitimacy, including “legitimate” violence.

An essay by Ajamu Baraka.


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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mark Lanegan



Happy birthday to Mark Lanegan (Nov. 25, 1964 to present), U.S. rock star who co-founded Screaming Trees, helping usher in Seattle "grunge," circa 1984.

If you're in Europe this winter catch him at one of these venues from January through March.

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Essay of the Day

To white America, in the main, police are the folks who help get our cats out of the tree, or who take us on ride-arounds to show us how gosh-darned exciting it is to be a cop. We experience police most often as helpful, as protectors of our lives and property. But that is not the black experience by and large; and black people know this, however much we don’t. The history of law enforcement in America, with regard to black folks, has been one of unremitting oppression. That is neither hyperbole nor opinion, but incontrovertible fact. From slave patrols to overseers to the Black Codes to lynching, it is a fact. From dozens of white-on-black riots that marked the first half of the twentieth century (in which cops participated actively) to Watts to Rodney King to Abner Louima to Amadou Diallo to the railroading of the Central Park 5, it is a fact. From the New Orleans Police Department’s killings of Adolph Archie to Henry Glover to the Danziger Bridge shootings there in the wake of Katrina to stop-and-frisk in places like New York, it’s a fact. And the fact that white people don’t know this history, have never been required to learn it, and can be considered even remotely informed citizens without knowing it, explains a lot about what’s wrong with America. Black people have to learn everything about white people just to stay alive. They especially and quite obviously have to know what scares us, what triggers the reptilian part of our brains and convinces us that they intend to do us harm. Meanwhile, we need know nothing whatsoever about them. We don’t have to know their history, their experiences, their hopes and dreams, or their fears. And we can go right on being oblivious to all that without consequence. It won’t be on the test, so to speak.

The rest of an important essay by Tim Wise.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Dinner

Tonight!

Beef chorizo over rice.  I buy the prepared roll.  Heat it and eat it.

It's a bad habit, but oh so tasty...


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Buckley

Happy birthday to William F. Buckley, writer, journalist, celebrity and the last quasi-sensible conservative (Nov. 24, 1925-Feb. 27, 2008).

He was a dickhead with a snake-like tongue, but he flicked it with style.

An institutionalized racist in a racist society, he finally came to admire MLK: 

In the late 1960s, Buckley disagreed strenuously with segregationist George Wallace, who ran in Democratic primaries (1964 and 1972) and made an independent run for president in 1968. Buckley later said it was a mistake for National Review to have opposed the civil rights legislation of 1964–65. He later grew to admire Martin Luther King, Jr. and supported creation of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day national holiday for him. During the 1950s, Buckley had worked to remove anti-Semitism from the conservative movement and barred holders of those views from working for National Review.


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Stroszek



Anxious to get to this tonight after the Ducks' basketball game vs. Michigan.

It's is one of the few Herzog movies I haven't seen.  Stumbled into it at the library today.

Herzog is a god to me.  Speaking of which, Aguirre, the Wrath of God is one of my favorite movies of all time.

What a great pleasure!  When I watch a good movie or read something exhilarating in the evening I have pleasant dreams and feel like I've accomplished something from my day.

A meaningless delusion, but what the heck?


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Average Joe

Happy birthday to Joe Eszterhas, screenwriter of Hungarian/American lineage (Nov. 23, 1944--present).






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Van the Man



Like all art, rock music is an assertion that defies objective knowledge. In a single performance, a singer, guitarist, or any musician can make you believe in the spontaneous generation of the original rock ‘n’ roll, “regardless,” as Marcus writes, “of any rumors that something vaguely similar might have happened before.” This is what the aesthetic philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto meant when he wrote, in his book After the End of Art, that “there really is, in history, no such thing as having done something before.” (I dare you to disagree after blasting Lauper’s “Money Changes Everything” at high volume.) Marcus argues that context is fundamental to the understanding of history as what happened, what might have happened, and what may yet happen.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Harvard/Yale

















The elites play a big game today in advance of joining the neoliberal mobsters who rule the world. Right now their fathers are in charge. Their proxy Obama, whose kids aren't old enough for college yet, is taking Harvard.  Kerry has Yale, though he had to settle for Boston College for his law degree because he was a lousy undergraduate student.  Of the two, Kerry is richer, having been born into the upper class and later marrying into a prominent ketchup family. Today, the entire focus of the elites is to get more people in the Middle East and Africa to serve Heinz with their falafel and chambo.


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Force of Nature


Most of the time I'm lazy about laundry, put it off forever.

But you cannot fight the force of nature when it is sending you a message.  I woke up this morning wide-eyed.  There was nothing to do but put two loads in.

It was quiet down there, just me and those wonderful machines.

Almost peaceful.

I'm ready to watch the SEC teams take on their tough out-of-conference competition today. Nothing is quite as pleasing as watching Alabama beat up on another over-matched directional school.

Oregon and Colorado, you say?

Hey, at least it's a conference game.  And Colorado is no Western Carolina.


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Docs and Books


I'm thinking I've seen this, or part of it, but I think I'll watch it again soon.

I'm also waiting for a couple of books about the CIA's past involvement in the drug trade and other nefarious operations.  I have them on hold at the library.

This one, published in 1999.

And this one, source material for the movie of the same title.

Yeah, I'm busy in sort of an enjoyable way.


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Marilyn French


Happy birthday to Marilyn French, seminal feminist author and educator (Nov. 21, 1929 to May 2, 2009).

Of French's first novel, "The Women's Room," Gloria Steinem said: “It was about the lives of women who were supposed to live the lives of their husbands, supposed to marry an identity rather than become one themselves, to live secondary lives. It expressed the experience of a huge number of women and let them know that they were not alone and not crazy.”

"The Women's Room" has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bobby Kennedy

Happy birthday Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. writer, politician and America's last great hope (Nov. 20, 1925-June 6, 1968).

He said it: We will not stand by or be aloof—we will move. I happen to believe that the 1954 Supreme Court school desegregation decision was right. But my belief does not matter. It is now the law. Some of you may believe the decision was wrong. That does not matter. It is the law.


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My Kind of Storm

Want to know something weird?

I wish I lived in Buffalo.  As tough as it is for the fine citizens of that city about now, I wouldn't mind being witness to such a storm.

Provided my roof wouldn't collapse and I had heat, food and water...

'Bout as close to extreme weather conditions as I'd like, but why not?

A hurricane or tornado--now that would be different.  No thanks.  No more earthquakes, either.  We've had few memorable, minor ones here.

The Columbus Day Storm wasn't exactly a picnic either for that matter.

But a lot of snow?  I like snow.


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Funny Guy

Appearing with House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell said that, in contrast to President Obama’s “Band-Aid fixes,” the Republican plan would address “the root cause of immigration, which is that the United States is, for the most part, habitable.”

The irony of course is that it feels like what Borowitz is writing is the truth.



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Awards

I read Phil Klay's "Redeployment" a couple of weeks ago.  It is indeed a fine book.

An interview with Phil Klay, this year's National Book Award winner for fiction.

Here's an essay he published earlier this year.

Ursula K. Le Guin,  winner of the ceremony's lifetime achievement award, unloaded on Amazon, and capitalism in general. "We need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and production of art," she said.


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RIP Mike Nichols




"I have never understood people dividing things into dramas and comedies," Nichols said in a 2004 interview with The Associated Press. "There are more laughs in 'Hamlet' than many Broadway comedies."


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Allen Tate

Happy birthday to Allen Tate, U.S. poet/essayist (Nov. 19, 1899-Feb. 9, 1979).

As a young man he wrote: "The negro race is an inferior race....miscegenation due to a white woman and a negro man" threatened the white family. "Our purpose..is to keep the negro blood from passing into the white race."

David Yezzi says Tate held the conventional social views of a white Southerner in 1934: an "inherited racism, a Southern legacy rooted in place and time that Tate later renounced."


Edges

I’ve often wondered why she laughed
On thinking why I wondered so;
It seemed such waste that long white hands
Should touch my hands and let them go.

And once when we were parting there,
Unseen of anything but trees,
I touched her fingers, thoughtfully,
For more than simple niceties.

But for some futile things unsaid
I should say all is done for us;
Yet I have wondered how she smiled
Beholding what was cavernous.

Allen Tate


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You Ready?

One. Try to stop people from protesting. The police all say they know they have to let people protest. So they usually will allow protests for a while. Then the police will get tired and impatient and try to stop people from continuing to protest. The government will say people can only protest until a certain time, or on a certain street, or only if they keep moving, or not there, not here, not now, no longer. Such police action is not authorized by the US Constitution.   People have a right to protest, the government should leave them alone.

The rest of Bill Quigley's list.


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Confrontation

I went to the doctor today. Examined, flu shot, blood drawn, a new prescription.

More tests tomorrow.

There was a time when I figured I'd die among the beasts, torn apart by wild animals--another kind of nature.

Didn't happen. So I guess I'm like anyone who lives to my ripe old age, which is not really very old in the big picture.

Unless you examine the life I've led...

Some issues surfacing, but to what degree?

We'll see, I guess.


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Wilma Mankiller

Happy birthday to Wilma Mankiller (Nov. 18, 1945-April 6, 2010), writer and first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Of the passing of Wilma Mankiller, President Obama stated:

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Wilma Mankiller today. As the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief, she transformed the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Government, and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she was recognized for her vision and commitment to a brighter future for all Americans. Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work. Michelle and I offer our condolences to Wilma’s family, especially her husband Charlie and two daughters, Gina and Felicia, as well as the Cherokee Nation and all those who knew her and were touched by her good works." 


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French Press

One of the desk jockeys here gave me a French press that a dearly departed tenant left behind.  I've never owned one before, so I brewed up a few cups to test it out.

I now understand why people dig the method so much.  Beats the heck out of filtering the brew.

I'm in big time.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Imminent Contradictions

Political language can be used, George Orwell said in 1946, “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” In order to justify its global assassination program, the Obama administration has had to stretch words beyond their natural breaking points. For instance, any male 14 years or older found dead in a drone strike zone is a “combatant” unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving him innocent. We are also informed that the constitutional guarantee of “due process” does not imply that the government must precede an execution with a trial. I think the one word most degraded and twisted these days, to the goriest ends, is the word “imminent.”

The rest of the story by Brian Terrell.


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Jeff Buckley



Happy birthday to Jeff Buckley, U.S. singer/songwriter (Nov.17, 1966-May 29, 1997), son of folk legend Tim Buckley.

He said it:

There was a time in my life not too long ago when I could show up in a cafe and simply do what I do, make music, learn from performing my music, explore what it means to me, i.e., have fun while I irritate and/or entertain an audience who don't know me or what I am about. In this situation I have that precious and irreplaceable luxury of failure, of risk, of surrender. I worked very hard to get this kind of thing together, this work forum. I loved it and then I missed it when it disappeared. All I am doing is reclaiming it.


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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Man O Man, It's Good

Yes sir, I made some soup last night that reminded me of the expertise I gathered in a dozen kitchens over the years.

I'm a little rusty these days, but I can do it if I bear down.

I was known for my good soup in the old neighborhood, where I worked for 16 years in the restaurant trade.

No less a luminary than Bob Costas praised my soup once in a neighborhood joint where I was working during the NBA Finals back in the Trail Blazers, Clyde Drexler glory years.

Called me to his table and said, I quote, "That is the best vegetable beef soup I've ever eaten."

I swear.

Another time, Oregon football coach Rich Brooks stopped by the service window in the same joint and praised the meal he'd just eaten, telling me the soup was especially good.

Last night I made a pot of an old standby, Cream of Broccoli and Mushroom.  Shopping for ingredients, I was unaware of the current price of heavy cream because I never cook with it these days, so I went cheap and used half & half.

This batch wasn't celebrity-worthy, but it was still very good.

Not great, mind you, but man o man...


TS

George S. Kaufman

Happy birthday to George S. Kaufman, U.S. playwright (Nov. 16, 1889-June 2, 1961).

He said it:  "Satire is what closes on Saturday night."






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Good Times

Big day yesterday, lots of good football.

Too bad Miami couldn't pull off the win against Florida State. The 'Noles need a loss in the worst way.  Doesn't appear they'll get one, however.

The Alabama vs. Miss. St. game went about as I expected.

Here in the PAC the season is far from over.  The South Division has parity, parity, parity. Arizona State's unexpected (if you believe the "experts") loss to Oregon State has created a chaotic stew of possibilities in the stretch run.  Too many scenarios exist for my level of comprehension, but it appears UCLA has the upper hand if the Bruins win out.

If...it's a big question.

Oregon is now the lone PAC team to "control its own destiny" relative to the playoff.  But after Colorado next week, a team the experts say Oregon ought to whip handily, look who's next.

That is correct.  The suddenly competent Beavers of OSU.  It's like I wrote at the beginning of the season.  Mike Riley, much under the critics' thumbs this season, always has his team playing well at season's end.

It took the magic of Marcus Mariota and Josh Huff to quell the Beavers late in the Civil War last season.

The naivest of Oregon's fans, the armchair-would-be coaches, will tell you OSU shouldn't be in the game, much less win it.

That's not reality.  OSU has the things Oregon's realistic fans (me and a few others) dread: a resurgent running game, and a deadly QB when he has time to throw it.

Like I say, the season is far from over.

But I'll look ahead like everyone else for a moment.

If you're Oregon, you don't want any part of a USC loaded with 5 star talent.  At the start of the season I picked USC to win the conference championship.

Here's the kicker if you're a regular fan and not a Duck honk like I am.  USC vs. Oregon, with a playoff on the line for Oregon, would be amazing television.

Better even than last night's OSU show.


TS

Friday, November 14, 2014

Callahan



Callahan died July 24, 2010.  Hard to believe it's been that long ago already.


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Literary Frenemies















Richard Bradford begins his musings on literary rivalry with the friendship of Wordsworth and Coleridge. When they met in 1795, they were mutually enamoured as poets and radicals. “Wordsworth is a very great man,” wrote Coleridge, “the only man to whom at all times and in all modes of excellence I feel myself inferior.” Wordsworth found the mystical, adventurous, experimental Coleridge “the most wonderful man I ever knew.” Within six weeks, Coleridge had moved to Grasmere to be close to his new friend. While Wordsworth was inspired by Coleridge’s fireworks, Coleridge was steadied by his friend’s disciplined ambition. Their historic collaboration on the Lyrical Ballads (1798) kicked off the Romantic movement.--Elaine Showalter

Review of "Literary Rivals" by Richard Bradford.


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Bernie Posted This

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Poll


Football is like politics, where marketing rules.

Everyone knows something is drastically wrong with the system (the influence of money in both cases), but what we think doesn't matter because the powers-that-be don't bother to listen to us anyway.

I mean, could it be any more obvious that the CFP "committee" is simply an adjunct to advertising and television, just as the weekend "news" shows are whenever a lame-ass politician shows up to sell his/her pack of lies?

Just as the political process itself is when subverted by corporate media?

Well, at least football is a harmless game (except for the injuries). Politics are another matter. The injuries to the body politic--ordinary people--have the potential to be devastating.


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Evening


Munching on chocolate chip cookies dipped in milk, watching a little football. O man...

Gonna read this famous piece later.

But seriously, where did the snow go?  I was looking forward to it.




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Weather Update


Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Where's the snow, dammit!?




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Snow, No Snow

The weather forecasters have been crying "Snow!" for the past 24 hours.

It has yet to materialize.  It likely won't, either.  The forecasters have been wrong many times before.

Well, with the exception of Dylan, who told us it is "Blowin' in the Wind," which it is and always has been.

He also said a "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," so he got that one right as well.

Everybody prepares and panics and schools close and buses are chained up and lives are altered all for nothing.

I'm glad I lead a much simpler life than most.


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Poem of the Day











8 count

from my bed
I watch
3 birds
on a telephone  
wire.

one flies
off.
then  
another.

one is left,
then
it too
is gone.

my typewriter is
tombstone
still.

and I am
reduced to bird
watching.

just thought I'd
let you
know,
fucker.

Charles Bukowski


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RIP Tomas Young


Tomas Young died Monday on the eve of Veterans' Day.


The War Prayer

by Mark Twain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.


TS

Summing Up

Bitter cold outside, clear sky, warm apartment, recurring stomach ache.

I'd rather be on a sunny beach.

Project ideas flashing through my mind, little energy to corral them.

I've yet to go into this blog and find the poems I lost in a couple of working files.  How I erased those still puzzles me.

To be exact--I know how I did it, the question is why?  By simply not focusing--or was it an unconscious act of borderline self-subterfuge?  I think I posted the majority of them here, so they're not gone in a literal sense; I've merely set myself up for a lot of grunt work.

That's nothing new to an old frycook.

I tried to watch the Blazers last night.  My interest in roundball has completely waned.  The Blazers are like obnoxious past-friends whom you don't miss.  The antidote is to turn them off, a deserving fate for freakish multi-millionaire seven-footers and bums alike.

The bright side?  More football tonight. Like last week, games being broadcast nightly as the mid-majors fight it out for conference titles. These games are ointments, my salvation against nightfall and ennui.

The games mean nothing in terms of the "Power 5" and the big business of major college ball.  But they are entertaining.

I read a little nightly, though it be a struggle at times. The library has a "large print" section.  Pride has kept me from exploring it until now.  It may be time...

It's cold outside and the library opens at noon today.  A brisk walk may be in order.


TS

Beauty Contest


This is almost comical in its vagueness and subjectivity.

But the Playoff Committee is smart and has the answers, right?

Wrong.

I reiterate--and I'm far from alone in this--that the four-team playoff for the college national championship is a cruel joke.

My discontent is not based on the Oregon factor, either, since I'm a big Duck honk.  All the Ducks have to do is win three down the stretch.

Quack, quack...

What I'm saying is that some very good one-loss teams will suffer this method like a beauty queen who is the third runner-up in a Miss America pageant  Everybody in the ballroom will have an opinion.

The tears of rage will supplant the tears of joy among some very pretty women--er, teams.

The Oregonian's Ken Goe put it best earlier in the season:

I've been saying from the moment the College Football Playoff was unveiled, that it is as bad or worse than the old Bowl Championship Series. It's a thinly-veiled way for the good ol' boys to keep their greedy fingers wrapped around college football's money and influence.

It's an exclusive system, standing in stark contrast to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, in which everybody, large and small, gets a shot.

If the powerful oligarchy that runs college football really wanted to determine a true national champion, this thing would be settled on the field in a real playoff.

I favor 24 teams. All conference champions would get an automatic berth. There would be eight, first-round byes. If the two best teams are from the SEC, well, let that be proven between the lines.

The rest of the story


TS

Monday, November 10, 2014

Old TV


I've been enjoying the heck out of the fourth season of "Boardwalk Empire," which I plucked out of the library after a two-month wait.

I've noticed some of the same writers and directors who shaped "The Wire" and "Treme" have contributed to this extremely creative series.

Steve Buscemi as ganster Nucky Thompson shines, as does the rest of the cast, with the possible exception of "The Wire" stalwart Michael Kenneth Williams, who seems out of place here.

Also trying "Homeland," but finding it a tough go.  Too much plot contrivance and cheap artifice for my taste. Not believable, and it doesn't work as fantasy very well either. "Boardwalk Empire" strives for an historical perspective of Prohibition, and while some of what comes out is of questionable authenticity, it captures an imagined past to a large degree and embraces the plausible.

I'm not sure what "Homeland" is attempting to do, but it hasn't bitten me yet.  I might give it a few more chances, but I'm running out of patience.


TS

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Autumn


























(Buddy Dooley Bloggie Photos)

You can find a little color in Portland, and quite a bit in the hinterlands, but nothing like I used to see in the New England countryside. I remember arriving in New England in 1974 and how excited I was to see the colors of the landscapes.  I wasn't disappointed.


TS

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feeling Sick

Is there anything going on I should know about?

Didn't think so.

So I made another pot of jambalaya, my version of comfort food.  It always make me feel better.

Not real authentic because my grocer had no andouille sausage. Threw in some smoked beef instead.

First bite, right here. (pause)  Hmm...kind of disappointing...

Well, so be it.

TS

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mad Games

There are college games every night this week.  Two tonight from the Mid-American Conference. It's their time of year, and I appreciate the opportunity to see them as the juices begin to boil for the bigger games this weekend, including Oregon vs. Utah.

Oregon must get over its tendency to swoon in November this time. Utah is a good team, so it won't be easy, particularly in light of the many injuries along Oregon's offensive and defensive lines.

We'll see, and I can't wait.

LeBron James is in town tonight with the Cavaliers to play the Blazers.  Bet there are no tickets available for that one, either. Haven't caught the local heroes yet this season (it's early), maybe I'll check out the stream this evening.

But the NBA is like MLB these days.  A long, long season is tiring to me. I could get into it this spring if the Blazers approach playoff level.

Meanwhile, a young woman has been raising hell in my apartment complex now for hours. and no one seems able to shut her up.

I'm tempted to try the yelling gambit.  Just start yelling at everything.  Just go completely off the mental grid and cut loose (I'm close already).  Might be cathartic. Could lead to good things, if not the nut ward at the local psych hospital.


TS

Dylan

The complete Basement Tapes have finally been published.











TS

Monday, November 3, 2014

No Difference, Really

Who gives a shit if the Republicans or Democrats get elected tomorrow?  The country can't be saved from itself anyway.

I voted, and the very act makes me feel like a fraud.

One party rule folks.  That is where we are.

A big, fat O for oligarchy.


TS

Mighty Presbyterian


The SEC's Mississippi schools are ready for their late-season break and fourth cupcake each on Saturday.  This means their eight-game pseudo-competitive conference schedule is temporarily on hold.

Oh, and they each get another guaranteed win.

Praise Jesus!

Here's the lineup:  Ole Miss gets Presbyterian.

Well, it's a good thing Ole Miss already has two losses, or this one could have put the Rebels in the championship game just because ESPN wanted them there.

And after polishing off a "tough" Arkansas club last weekend, 17-10, number one Miss. State gets to tangle with "tough" Tennessee-Martin (or something like that).

Upset city??

Meanwhile Oregon is playing Utah in a death match this Sat., and Pac-12 South leader Arizona State gets to play Notre Dame.

What say you, football fanatics?  We're weeding out the Presbyterians and small-time Tennessee schools, aren't we?

I love it!


TS

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Big Game












Time for kickoff.

Bye-bye.


TS