Saturday, November 22, 2014


Close captioned for the emotionally impaired

Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell Speaks To Alabama Football Team

And then Alabama beat number one ranked Mississippi State.

Green Cross Code

Questions? It has to do with pedestrian situational awareness and rule following when crossing a street. It's a nanny state thing.

Loretta Lynch

Billion dollar money grabber.


Lynch boasts of seizing 904 million dollars in 2013 alone. In one case a family lost their home when their son was caught with drugs on the property.

Boast away. If this doesn't kill her nomination to replace Eric Holder then nothing will. It must be made clear during confirmation hearings that all those forfeitures do not come exclusively from white people. Remind us again why we should trust federal government for anything.

Cash is taken from drivers under the presumption that anyone driving with cash intends to use it to buy drugs, even on stops made test driving while shopping for a new car. Boom, there goes the new car money.

Oh, how we laughed and laughed as we glee over our prosecutorial discretion.

So-called Police for profit practiced by cops on both sides of political persuasion has come under scrutiny when it was uncovered how police are trained to use a loophole in federal laws called "equitable sharing" unavailable under state law.


So, perfect then for Obama administration. Don't you agree?

cue: Loretta Lynn, Stand by Your Man
cue: Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies.

Hillary Clinton was against it before she was for it.

"Hillary Rodham Clinton says she supports President Barack Obama's executive actions to protect about 5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, calling it a "historic step" and urging Congress to pursue a measure approved by the Senate last year."
"This is about people's lives," she said Friday during an appearance at the New York Historical Society, adding that it was about "people who serve us tonight, who prepared the food tonight."

"I think the president took an historic step and I support it," the former secretary of state said in her first public comments on the issue.

Charging hypocrisy, the Republican National Committee released a Web video earlier in the day that included the audio of an April 2008 Clinton speech in which she criticized President George W. Bush's use of signing statements and other means "to transform the executive into an imperial presidency."

Give me one reason

Titus sighting.

Chinese Investors Snap Up Property In Bankrupt Detroit

China is experiencing a massive migration of its wealthiest citizens and their money to other countries, especially the United States.  Until the recent decade, few Chinese had any wealth; this is a new phenomena.  But now China has a rapidly growing middle and upper class, and an increasingly shaky economy, and wealth flows toward more secure environments.
If they could buy Broadway and Park Avenue, they would.  Rich Chinese investors are the biggest buyers of high-end luxury real estate in New York. And on a national level, they replaced Canada as the leading foreign buyer of American properties.
“The Chinese like anything new, and they like brand named locations like Central Park South,” says Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, one of the leading real estate brokers in the city.
The property market in China, coupled with a stronger currency, is also enticing Chinese millionaires to buy homes here. Beijing no longer permits individuals to own more than two properties, even as an investment. So a growing number are going abroad as cash buyers.
But what do you do if you're a Chinese millionaire who isn't millionaire enough to buy property in Manhattan?  Or Hollywood?  Or Hawaii?

You buy property in Detroit.
With family homes regularly selling for around $10,000, the beleaguered Motor City is now the number-four destination for Chinese housing investors in the U.S. Bigger spenders have already snapped up some of Detroit’s most iconic commercial buildings.
A Chinese company named SouFun lists thousands of abandoned Detroit properties on its website at a price of $10,000 each.  Buyers snap them up, sight unseen.
“700,000 people, quiet, clean air, no pollution, democracy — what are you waiting for?”
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has made several trips to China for the purpose of encouraging Chinese investment in Detroit.   Chinese investors are listening.
In Sept. 2013, property developer Dongdu International Group of Shanghai (DDI) shelled out $13.6 million — the price of one of Shanghai's upscale apartments — for three iconic structures in Detroit, including the Detroit Free Press building and a complex built by Kmart founder Sebastian Kresge.
“Detroit is like Shanghai in that it has many classical and iconic buildings," the company said on its website.  "DDI through its successful history has had had great experience in bringing these types of buildings back to life.”
Ask not for whom the Dongdu, the Dongdu for.........never mind.   Momentary lapse there.

The Chinese are awash in capital and see opportunity in Detroit.  American companies, some of them, are likewise awash in capital and expertise, and have not invested in Detroit.   The long-term question becomes:  Who has the better vision of Detroit's future, the Chinese or the Americans?

Friday, November 21, 2014

This Land is Your Land


Undercover Boss, Chiquita

La camisa puesta
I put on the shirt. (lit. the shirt putting)
It means to wear the company name proudly.

This reality type television show amounts to one long advertisement for the company being featured. A company boss goes undercover as a new employee so they can scope out how their companies actually function from an entry level point of view. They learn how their employees behave, what they think of their company, shortcomings that can be addressed, things not easily seen from their executive position. 

The network gets their show, the production company gets their contract, the featured company gets an hour advertisement, shortcomings are identified and improvements made upon return to normal, outstanding employees are rewarded, So So, win / win / win / win. Isn't America great?

The show is bit contrived. There is a film crew present that affects behavior, after all. Even so, a few shocking things are uncovered.  

This particular show got me, pow, right in the heart. I don't know how one can watch this and not be moved.

At 24:40 Fernando flies to Salinas California to meet Leo, a Mexican national working in the lettuce fields as crew supervisor.  

This Leo is a real stud. He reminds me of a friend I knew from New Mexico. Gracious, reliable, considerate, thoughtful, and spiritual as can be. Completely liberal. He cut me off abruptly. I think because I failed to despise Bush sufficiently. I don't know. That was a real bummer because I liked Allen a lot. He had no interest at all in meeting any of my other friends. This Leo here does remind me strongly of Allen.

They take a break from their work and the boss asks incredibly personal questions. Each episode they do. Employees alway open right up and spill their guts. It's quite amazing how open people are. Nobody ever says, "That's personal." Maybe they do and those bits are edited. I do not know, but it is touching how many are eager to reveal personal details.

Fernando (undercover as Manuel) inquires about Leo's family. Turns out his wife lives in Arizona with their daughter, Paula, Fernando asks if Leo intends to have any more children. Leo answers, "No." There is a brief pause, "In fact he adopted." 

Stand up guy, this Leo.

The whole time I'm watching, I'm thinking, "This is the kind of guy I want in my country." 

I do.

At the end there is a reveal where the employees encountered are called to the office under some pretext. In this case back to Cincinnati to evaluate Manuel. It's a very good ruse. They're all thinking, "Wow, I get to decide this guy's fate. Heavy." 

This show has a subplot. Fernando recently attained his citizenship. He believes pursuing citizenship is the most important thing Leo can do. This reveal is saved for last.

We learn the process cost Fernando around $15,000. 

That shocked me. 

How are poor people expected to cough up that kind of cash? Must everything be a profit center with U.S. government? Surely the process cannot cost the government that much money, and if it does then there are way too many government employees involved. It's exclusive.

My grandparents were immigrants and they never spoke of any such thing as oppressively high sum they all had to pay. Grandmother and her two brothers all immigrated plus my grandfather she married. None of them mentioned exorbitant cost. Except for the cost of traversing an ocean, and the emotional cost of leaving their home and their families.  

So why $15,000 now? That's wrong. Immigrants should not have to buy their citizenship.

I'm against it costing that much.

Please watch, if you will. So you can become verklempt as I. There is a sign for "choked up," a fist closing at the throat. That expresses precisely how I feel watching this. The entire show is good. If you have the time, please do. It is entertaining besides the portion about Leo.

Leo spends 6 months in Arizona with his family and six months in Salinas. He has a high  school education with no interest in persisting. He works 7:00 to 7:00 or 9:00 so no time for more school. 

He hopes Paula can have a 9 to 5 job. From his point of view that is an American dream. 

Fernando says, We're going to give you a week of vacation, so you can  spend time with Paula and your wife. 

Fernando, points to his lapel pin flag. (with Mexican flag on the cabinet behind him)
I want you, I want you to also have the American dream.
This is such a great country. And I want to make sure that we help you achieve that dream. In fact, we're going to pay for you to file your paperwork for American citizenship  
It cost me somewhere around $15,000. But. I want you to become an American citizen.  Does that work? 
I come from a Mexican family. Our goal is to have a better life but in United States you can have whatever you want. You just have to work hard and be 100% at whatever you're given. 
I had a great experience.
I'm so happy. 
I mean,
It's just, 
It's just shock.

"And why does Obama think that we're all fruit pickers?"

Well, yes, he did say that last night.  Legal immigrant destroys Obama in epic twitter rant.

I'm an alien, a legal alien. An Englishman in New York.  But he has connections.

"Email Proves that White House, DOJ Targeted Reporter Sharyl Attkisson"

"One of the documents provides smoking gun proof that the Obama White House and the Eric Holder Justice Department colluded to get CBS News to block reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was one of the few mainstream media reporters who paid any attention to the deadly gun-running scandal."
In an email dated October 4, 2011, Attorney General Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, called Attkisson “out of control.” Schmaler told White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz that he intended to call CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer to get the network to stop Attkisson.

Schultz replied, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”

Schultz also told Schmaler that he was working with reporter Susan Davis, then at the National Journal, to target Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA). Issa led the House investigation into Fast and Furious. Davis now works at USA Today. In the email chain, Schultz tells Schmaler that he would provide Davis with “leaks.”

Gruber again.

Barack Kardashian

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So now you better stop and rebuild all your ruins

For peace and trust can win the day despite all of your losing.

Why listen to you? You're terrible at geography.

Who Makes The Law?

President Obama will appear on your television this evening to announce changes he is making by Executive Order to the immigration laws that determine who is and who is not a legal immigrant to the United States.  President Obama and his advisers believe that the president has the authority to make or change laws, and to select which federal laws his administration will enforce.

Many Americans, including a few congressional democrats and all republicans believe that the president does not have the constitutional authority to make laws.  That authority, they believe, was enumerated in the constitution for Congress.  President Obama also believes that a president can unilaterally change existing laws by issuing executive orders, and that a president can selectively choose which laws to enforce.  In the current instance, President Obama has chosen to not enforce certain immigration laws.

What do you think?

And for the purpose of this discussion, "Bush did it" is not an argument.  If you use that argument, and you opposed what Bush did, then you should automatically oppose what Obama will be doing tonight, so that argument becomes circular.

What does the Constitution say?

Article 1 of the Constitution provides:
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives."
 The enumerated powers are a list of items found in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution that set forth the authoritative capacity of Congress.  They include:
To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.....
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. 
The Necessary and Proper Clause is as follows:
The Congress shall have Power ... To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof. 
Article Two describes the office of the President of the United States, and includes:
The Recommendation Clause: The president has the power and duty to recommend to Congress's consideration such measures which the president deems as "necessary and expedient".
The president sees that the laws are faithfully executed.
Does the President have the authority to unilaterally choose to not enforce immigration laws now on the books;  to change those laws and, and to creat new laws by Executive Order?

Bill Cosby: "There is no response"

"I went to put in a complaint and the killer was with us"

"After the bodies of the reigning Miss Honduras, 19-year-old Maria Jose Alvarado, and her sister Sofia, 23, were discovered early in the day, police announced that the sister's boyfriend had confessed to killing them last week in a fit of jealousy over his girlfriend dancing with another man."
"She was simple, humble, a total innocent smiling and without malice," said Ludin Reyes, a fellow student at the Technical University of Honduras.

At some point during the night of Nov. 13, a heated argument broke out over the sister dancing with another man and Ruiz pulled a gun, firing first at his girlfriend and then at Alvarado as she tried to flee, said the National Police director, Gen. Ramon Sabillon. Alvarado was hit twice in the back.

Claudio Cecilio Munoz, an uncle of the sisters, said Ruiz came to the family's modest house on a dirt road the day after the young women disappeared to invite them to lunch, and returned several days to help with the search. He described Ruiz not as a boyfriend, but as someone who was courting his niece.

"We didn't file a complaint right away because we were waiting for a telephone call asking for ransom," Munoz said. "On Saturday their mother and I went to put in a complaint and the killer was with us."

King Barry

This is old. Posted at the time the famous photo was released, presumably to have the president appear singularly lonely and introspectively presidential, it was widely Photoshopped into various alternate interpretations, Stalin, center of the solar system, the Joker, handcuffed, his wife, empty suit, Telletubbies, zombies and many more. This is Darleen Click's Photoshop of Obama seeing himself as king, published on Protein Wisdom, I animated Darleen's King Barry.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lake-effect Snow Pounds Buffalo

West Seneca

NYS Thruway 87 90
Collected via BuzzFeed Storm

King Obama: “Well, actually, my position hasn’t changed”

Univision Town Hall, March 28, 2011: ‘The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws.’

Google Hangout, Feb. 14, 2013: ‘I’m not the emperor of the United States’

Interview with Noticias Telmundo, Sept. 17, 2013: ‘There is a path to get this done and that is through Congress.’

There are probably more sound bites of Obama saying that he couldn't do what he is apparently gearing up to do. He just hasn't challenged us to look for the videos of debate, like he challenged us to look for the ObamaCare videos. I'm guessing, we don't want to get ahead of the king.

Washington Post

Gruber and friends in summary

This video is trending. It is disjointed. Meaningless without first having the full context that you all do have. So, good satire then for those with the details but meaningless to willfully blind partisan supporters.

Even so, disconnected drips and drabs as it is, lifted from surrounding context and placed for sharp contrast and with ridiculous unserious music it is in the style loyal Democrats so full of themselves and their own sense of meta-comprehension, their sense of being above it all to the point of looking down upon the sorry bathos presented, it does align with the style used by the writers of Jon Stewart, he being their foremost source of information. They are just this smart. And they hold you to be thick and slow. So here it is, in their own style.

Particularly delicious is Pelosi. Apart from her two tremendous skills -- serially duping self-righeous San Franciscan liberals and sniffing out money --  this really is how we see her in complete form, by her own halted babbling.

A question of priorities

Golden Retriever Really Wants To Race But.. First Things First.

Ebola response, House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations

David Lakey. Texas Dept of State Health Services Commissioner.

Apparently, Mr Lakey is responsible for Texas' response to ebola, considered quite stringent. He was talking about the tough decisions he made. Kudos for managing all that serious stuff. But the whole time I was struck by the man's hair, the likes of which I had not seen, making the boys of Deliverance look good. Who does this? Why? Whoever did this must be stopped before they strike again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We Need Mo' Blues

The Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams

Hank Williams died in January, 1953 at 29 years of age.  The cause of death was alcohol and morphine.  Williams was an alcoholic, and had been given morphine to deal with pain resulting from a back injury he suffered in 1951.  He took too much of both, and died in the back seat of his car while being driven to a performance.

Among the possessions found Williams' car was a notebook filled with Williams' lyrics and notes for songs he had not yet recorded.  That notebook disappeared until 2006, when it was found in a dumpster by a janitor employed by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.  After lawsuits and threats of arrest, the janitor's story was found to be true, and in 2008, Sony turned the notebooks over to Bob Dylan to complete the songs for a new album.

That album (a CD, but I hate that name) is called The Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams and was released in October 2011.

It sucks.

"Four killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue"

The Guardian: A man who identified himself only as Yossi and was in the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Channel 2: “The police arrived and surrounded the entrance and then the terrorist ran out and they shot him. There was wild gunfire. People ran out of the synagogue. It was hell.”
“I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us ... my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped.”
Masked Palestinians holding axes and a gun
celebrate an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue

Barack Obama disavows Jonathan Gruber


"C-SPAN Sets Up Separate Phone Line for Illegal Immigrants to Call In"

We do have a fourth line for this segment,” said C-SPAN host Paul Orgel. “These are for folks who are here in the U.S. illegally, illegally here in the U.S.”

Don McCullin uses a digital camera for the first time

Don McCullin is a British photographer internationally known particularly so for his war photography. His work sampled here by Google images.

At one point McCullin's Nikon camera stopped a bullet intended for him. In his later years he turned his attention to wedding, still life and landscape photography.

The video is long on Canon advertisement but overlooking that it is interesting to see him readily adapt.

When I hand my camera to someone else to take pictures, they inevitably frame their shots by the monitor, it is nice and big and the eye piece so small. That is what the tiny live t.v. camera inside sees, not what is seen through the lens. It ignores the whole point of the awesomeness of through the lens SLR and it's not even actually 100% live due to processing. Fast, yes, but not actually live. The viewfinder is exactly what the lens sees. McCullin remarks people with digitals check the monitor playback after each shot and risk missing action by taking their eye from the eyepiece. I agree. The viewfinder is the way to go, and the monitor useful for framing in those instances when you cannot get your head and your eyeball behind the camera. It is also used to establish and check settings. But once checked there is no good reason to keep checking unless light changes you are still uncertain about settings.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tattoo removal, exactly what happens?


Hair grass cut, that is. Hair grass is the short species on the far right. The tank divides a room. This is the back of the tank, not the front.

I killed a thousand snails yesterday and all that remain are remnant escapees. I'm leaving the glass dirty to induce the remaining snails to go there to be siphoned off into the ter-let bowl where they abide obliviously for a few minutes until a tablespoon of bleach does them all in before being flushed. Or else smashed right there in the thank against the glass. Their broken bits attractive to survivors. It is a Thanksgiving season massacre!

I'm tired of these plants. The design is unimaginative. Now that I read seven books on potted terrace plants and garden design I realize it needs a few clusters of broad leave species and more variation generally. There are thousands of plants to choose from, possibly hundreds. Okay fine! Scores of plants to choose from. And we owe it all to Takashi Amano's own curiosity to thank for all these aquatic plants made available.

One of the angelfish died. 

They are a disappointment. I had no idea they would grow this fancy. I did not want that. I didn't even know their type existed. They were displayed as ordinary angelfish. Their fins are ridiculously long, extended by breeding as some goldfish are bred to extremes and some betta Siamese fighting fish too. The practice of breeding for fin length beyond anything remotely natural to extremes of evolutionary effrontery strikes me as an uniquely Asian propensity, but I could be wrong. The angelfish's fins grow fin upon fin so they curl as fingernails do as some human females allow, as obsessives do, so that they self-identify as psychologically disturbed in some way expressed as inability to groom oneself properly. Interviews reveal they are stuck, and among the first questions asked inevitably is, "How do you wipe your own butt?"

Long nails give me the creeps.

Long excessively groomed nails give me double triple quadruple creeps.  

These angelfish are like that. They can still swim, but it exhausts them. They prefer to stick their face in plant clusters and sit there all day allowing the plants to hold them up. Their stabilizing side fins are curled around in multiples, virtually useless as two flagging dish rags. They are lousy feeders. I expected an angelfish to go after its food like a dart, but not these. They bobble around gulping air to draw floating flakes into their mouth as if blind.

Having said all that, they are among the most interesting fish that I've owned. 

"‘Dice’ Clay: ‘I don't mind a little controversy,’"

FOX411: So "Dice" is a character not you.

Clay: Exactly. It's a stage persona. I'm sure Elvis didn't wear a glitter outfit around the house but he'd get on stage and he'd be in his jumpsuit. When I go on stage people don't want to hear, “My son came home with a beautiful picture he made in the first grade.” I'm up there making people laugh.
We live in a filthy world where anything goes. Go to the internet. Since my kids were babies I would keep them off that internet. I would say, “It will wreck your mind if you go to those sites because it's not what real life is about, that type of sex.” I had to explain it to them because it could twist a kid's mind up. All of a sudden he's 20 years old and he thinks his first girlfriend should be with five other people and him because that's what's allowed in the world.

It's the sickest stuff in the world. If you're 50, 40, you want to go look, well you're already who you are and what's the difference but when it's an impressionable 8-year-old, 12 or 18 or even a 25 year old looking and saying, “Oh so that's how it goes?” I make fun of the stuff on stage but it's out there and adults come to see me.

"A squirrel nabbed my GoPro and carried it up a tree"

Sunday, November 16, 2014


"Pure And Easy" was supposed to have been the opening song in Pete Townshend's second concept album (after "Tommy") called "Lifehouse." But the project never gelled. Instead he gave us the album "Who's Next" and if you listen closely to the very end of the very last song -- "The Song Is Over" -- Townshend included the dying gasp of "Pure And Easy:"

Lyrics for "Pure And Easy" follow after the jump.

What Would Galateo Say?

Il Galateo was good advice written by Giovanni Della Casa (1503–56). Ostensibly written for young noblemen of his time, the book has had wider appeal in post-Renaissance times. The following excerpt is entitled "Dress."

When you go into public, let your dress be genteel, and suitable to your age and station of life. He that does otherwise, shows a contempt of the world, and too great an opinion of his own importance. On this account, the citizens of Padua were always greatly offended, and thought themselves insulted, if a noble Venetian appeared in their streets not in his full dress gown, but in a short coat; as if he fancied himself taking a walk at his ease, in some country village.  
Let your clothes not only be made of good broad cloth but lay it down as a constant rule, in adorning your person, to conform to the custom of the country you live in and also to the fashion of the present times: tho' the dress, which we now use, may perhaps be less convenient and less suited to the human body, than that of the ancients either really was, or as learned men fancy it was.  
In like manner, if the whole town wear their hair cut short, I would not have you ostentatiously display your fine locks at full length; or, if the rest, of your countrymen wear beards, I would not have you alone appear without one: for this would be to make yourself singular, and contrary to other people.  
Whereas, in our common intercourse with mankind, we ought by no means (without some necessity, which shall hereafter be explained) to run counter to the common customs of the world: for this, beyond any other offence we can be guilty of, will render us odious to mankind. There is no reason in the world then, why, in things of this kind, you should oppose the opinion of the public to which you ought always, in a moderate way, to conform; lest you should be left to enjoy your own fashion alone.
Read the whole thing

"Time Magazine Apologizes For Including 'Feminist' In 2015 Word Banishment Poll"

"Time Magazine has apologized for including the word “feminist” in its annual list of words to ban for the new year. Nancy Gibbs, the magazine’s managing editor, penned an apology that is included as an editor’s note above the article:"
Time apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban. While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.
“Feminist” was nominated along with words like “bae,” “basic,” “disrupt,” “kale,” “bossy” and “turnt,” among others, with humorous explanations of the words. Previous castoffs have included OMG, YOLO and twerk. "Feminist" has since been removed from the poll."

The first time I cooked for Thanksgiving (in China)

This is for weeps and for good cheers.

A young American woman is assigned to Beijing and by working so hard there she looses track of holidays back home, until a Chinese woman cheerfully chirps, " Happy Thanksgiving!" with a grin, well pleased with being familiar with American holidays.

The American had completely forgotten and missed her first Thanksgiving ever. The only time she missed one. Saddened by the lapse, Lucy determined to avoid  that happening again.  She decides the next year to assemble a small group of co-workers to make a celebration for themselves, a group of some four women.

Word of the group of women's  activity spreads across the company and people she does not know ask to join and their party grows beyond the capacity of their tiny apartment. So they move it. By moving, word spreads and things start to get out of hand. Then word spreads in a way seemingly unique to  China and the enterprise overtakes the young girl's ability.

She is a brilliant cook now and her blog is an internet blessing, but she knew little about cooking then. She learned as she went along. Now living with her husband, Loic in Lyon, her blog, Lucy's Kitchen Notebook is one of the sweetest places I know on the internet. I hope you enjoy her story as much as I do. This is my favorite Thanksgiving tale.

Lucy's Kitchen Notebook

Jose Canseco shares his finger

When I read this tweet last night, the first thing I thought was Jose's infamous steroid use might have something to do with his finger "falling off". How his story of baseball's love affair with steroids, his going public with a book, his shearing, threatened the game I love. As bluntly as I could say it, I have zero sympathy for Jose Canseco and his finger.

Which is to say I probably should "work on that". In retrospect, the baseball steroid affair was bound to come out anyway, with or without Jose Canseco's big mouth. The sooner it happened, the better. I want to be as fair as I can when dealing with the things I care about... and eventually all things... not that I want to be fingered as a saint or anything.

Cutting back to Canseco's finger for a minute, however. How the heck does a finger "fall of" a guy?

This event, which Jose claims there is a video, must be the mother of metaphorical goodie releasing piñata of all time. Is Canseco giving us the finger or what?

Please, feel free to finger at will.

Before his rating on baseball, I remember Jose Canseco for a deep fly ball landing on his noggin and watching that highlight over and over until it was seared in my head.

One twitter I follow put it best for me when he said...
Jose Canseco You are a national treasure, sir.

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

Gee Ell Oh Are Eye Ayyy!

Live in San Francisco, with some John Lee Hooker thrown in.

Blessings of the day to you and yours.......or you and yourn, if y'alls are from the south.

The trouble with birds

Did I tell you this before? Stop me if I did.

True story 100%: 

En tiempos muy remotos in a nearby magical land, the local Neusteter's Department store put up a window display coinciding with Denver Museum of Natural History's King Ramses II exhibition. People mistake this for King Tut. Big difference. 

It was a huge deal for the city to snag the exhibition. It involved a lot of monolithic statuary placed over three floors. It was an outstanding exhibition.  I went to it six times. In fact, our Federal Reserve Bank branch where I worked arranged a group trip through their employees' club. A member asked me to make posters advertising their field trip. Always putting me on the spot like that without really knowing or appreciating exactly what they are asking. This could take a whole weekend. I demurred. She begged. I acquiesced. I took large portion of rolled brown paper from their mail department that the bank uses for shipping. (They ship bundles of checks) I drew the silhouette of the Ramses colossus that the museum used for their advertising on a section of paper from the roll. The museum's image for advertising was stamp size, my version of their silhouette is poster size. The black portion was cut out with Xacto and the sheet with holes used as template for black spray paint onto another brown paper sheet from the same roll.  I ripped off a few dozen such posters and the club members tacked up the posters all over the bank. I still have one of the posters in brown paper bag type roll paper. They turned out rather nice, black on brown, and the project not so difficult as I imagined. But that just invited further requests. 

So that was that.

Then later a member of a professional group that I do not belong to called me and said his professional group is hosting a large cocktail party for some hundred or so members. The group will collect at a house directly across the Museum of Natural History on Colorado Boulevard. It is the home of a well-known fancy-pants dentist, Denis (the menace). He acquired several of the Neusteter silhouettes, by then their window display was dismantled, he asked for them and Neusteter's gave the foam core silhouettes to him, and he intended to use the silhouettes for the party at the Dentist's house. Problem is, they are plain white styrofoam filled board. He asked me to come to his apartment to paint them that weekend at 15th and Larimer, the edge of downtown not far from the Federal Reserve.

I agreed. What the heck.

His apartment is on the 22nd floor. The life-size white foam core silhouettes were set up against a glass door to a bedroom. The balcony has three entrances, one from the living room two from bedrooms, one of the bedrooms his pet parrot occupies. The bird's cage takes the whole room. I should offer to paint the room like a jungle for $1,000 to fake out the bird into thinking it's not prisoner. The bird was outside that day with its foot chained to the railing so it could not fly off. 

I hate that bird. 

It is obnoxious. Their relationship is obnoxious. The owner, Bob, is a psychiatrist and he talks to the parrot as if it were a baby. It makes me ill. Bob is about 6'5" real rough looking, and when he talks like a baby it is too much to bear. The bird is chewing on paint brushes. Bob set up a table with paints and rags a water and such. The bird chained on the railing behind it. Gnawing away on consecutive brushes, allowing them to drop from it beak so that they sail down to the alley far below. The bird destroyed about six brushes. Bob kept trying to get the parrot to talk, to show off the bird's mad talking skillz, nothing but taciturn silence, as always. I doubted the bird ever talked.

Then, to my discomfort mid-project Bob said that he must leave briefly for his own dental appointment. Not the same dentist. Not to worry, the dentist is nearby, he'll be back in a flash. He promised to not be gone more than an hour. I thought that was uncool to invite me to work with him at his home, then take off, but I was into it by then. He departed. 

I am alone. I set my mind to the task at hand. The parrot behind me behaving at last, being perfectly quiet in the absence of Bob the psychiatrist. The project is all color fields and outline. I have only to paint a good mouth and one good Egyptian eye and fill in the rest.

Except for the necklace. Concentric semicircles connected with hundreds of lines  in primary colors representing rows of beads. Simple but tedious. My mind was focused at the tip of the brush. Long tedious minutes elapsed. It's quite meditative. The thought process puts one in a trance state like this:

"line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line, line," Tedium. Suddenly the parrot squawked loudly and clearly,


From behind me 22 floors up in the air. I thought a SWAT team was rappelling onto the balcony to assault me from an impossible direction behind me before realizing it was the insanely obnoxious displaced tropical bird, I checked my impulse to kill it by swatting it chained to the railing so Bob would return with it hanging there dead by its foot from a chain.

My little railroad track of 1" painted lines went eeeeerk. 

The living room door opened and Bob walked onto the balcony. "Howzit goin'?"