Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Focal dystonia

Windbag wrote that Vic Wooten is suffering from focal dystonia. I read up a bit on it. This is what Wiki has to say about it. There is a list of musicians in that article who are suffering from focal dystonia, including Charlie Parr: 

Here is Charlie performing a tune written by R. L. Burnside.

Three years ago I suffered a bad hip injury. A friend of mine who is an aerialist saw me dragging my leg and asked what was going on. I told her. She told me about the concept of opposing muscles having to be told to be silent. I had never heard of that but I put that knowledge to use and began my at-home rehab. Now I can walk without a limp, which is good, and my cane has been put away for future use. But that area of brain/muscle interface is a fascinating area of study, for sure, one I first heard of due to my own need.

Wisteria is blooming while hysteria runs rampant.:

Social distancing:

Out on the trail - I took my dog out for a walk this afternoon, it was cold and rainy, so I figured I would mostly have the trails to myself. I have to keep an eye out for other dogs as my dog is reactive. We had the trails to ourselves right until we got to the single track in the woods. There I saw a guy walking towards us with a white dog and a black dog. My dog and I did an immediate volte-face and started running as fast as we could go. We soon had enough distance between us so that we could slow down a bit I gave my dog a treat and I saw that it was my neighbor walking his poodles. He had the same idea I had - that it was a good time to be out there. I also encountered a couple of other hikers without dogs and they went way off the trail to maintain a good social distance.

At the store - I wore my N95 dust mask to the grocery store today - the palindromically named clerk recognized me - that made me laugh. So much for that being a good disguise.

Today's gallows humor:

My friend's uncle was in line at Publix on Leesville Road this morning:

At 7:45 am today at the grocery store that opened at 8 for seniors only, a young man came from the parking lot and tried to cut in at the front of the line, but an old lady beat him back into the parking lot with her cane.

He returned and tried to cut in again but an old man punched him in the gut, then kicked him to the ground and rolled him away.

As he approached the line for the 3rd time he said, "If you don't let me unlock the door, you'll never get in there."

Monday, March 30, 2020

Simple Man

It's become my theme song these days.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Half a leap year

It is very quiet outside. Like after a snow storm kind of quiet. Very few cars on any nearby roads. Very few aircraft of any sort flying by - sure, there is still the occasional contrail, but not like before.

So, in order to do my part I decided to mow my lawn. Disturb the peace, as it were. As I began mowing I started coughing, then sneezing. Ain't spring wonderful? That sort of thing will certainly keep people away from you, that's for sure.

Dogwoods are blooming:

While walking yesterday I saw flowers on a nearby live oak (Quercus virginiana perhaps?):

With luck I will be able to gather some acorns and sprout a couple of them. Live oaks would make a nice replacement for the large Bradford pear I took down last year.

It is warm today but cold rainy weather is headed our way. Might as well get out, get some work done, work on my tan, sweat a bit, it's all good.

A bit early, but it works for me on a Sunday morning:

The title of this post refers to the fact that as of yesterday I have run 183 days in a row without missing one. That is half the number of days in a leap year. So far so good. Walkies are less frequent as the dog owned by the woman I walk with is a bit fussy when it comes to weather - in this past week it has been too cold, too rainy and too hot. Kind of the trifecta on non-walking weather. So it goes. Maybe tomorrow will be more to her liking - she is a good dog, just a bit delicate.

I hope everyone is faring well in this trying time. The good news is that many folks have reached out to me, and I to them, just checking on how they are doing. Thank goodness for social messaging during a time of social distancing, eh?

Friday, March 27, 2020

On Waiting for the Word, Finding Balance, and Feat of Klee

Earlier in the week, I came upon the word “Shellshock” as the title of a post by J. Treacher.  Without agreeing to the rest of what he’d written, I appreciated finding that word and these from him as they helped me recognize what I was experiencing, and move from there to  find a sense of center and balance again:  You'd have to be crazy not to be scared right now. This is all happening too fast, there's too much information and misinformation and disinformation getting blasted at you all at once, and the consequences of everything that's happening are too big to wrap your head around. It's hard to know what's going on or who to trust.   While that may seem over the top or too much for some here, it resonated with me.

Following edutcher’s nut-shell declaration and encapsulation of stir crazy as one description of what could be experienced by the many who've been following the 15 Days to STS and state issued stay at home directives, I kept looking for a word or way to describe what I was feeling, which wasn’t stir crazy and didn’t involve panic yet included an underlying sense of fear and dread, along with a strong lack of trust. I wasn’t trusting myself not to be careless in washing, face-touching or contact with surfaces and things coming into my house, while also not trusting the honesty and motives of those who were providing information and guidance, and making life affecting decisions.  Where to obtain reliable information was a struggle, along with determining how much time and energy I wanted to spend immersing myself in looking for it. I’d felt  troubled and confounded by my inability to pull away from all that was going on (even without any MSM contact) and engage in fruitful or creative activity beyond immediate self care and life maintenance. 

As a trauma survivor, my own fear of being powerless in the face of threat, bodily harm, loss, or death is easily activated.  The old neural pathways are still there, like worn ruts in the road for me to fall back into, and it takes a conscious effort on my part to remain present, recognize reality, reach out,  find balance and move forward in truth and grace. 

Looking into "shellshock" helped me understand what was rattling in me, and Paul Klee's Tightrope Walker, pictured above, served as the visual that allowed me to use my imagination to "see" what was happening and needed at the crossroads where feeling and thought come together in integration to result in the action of a next step. (In resurrecting the Kandinsky book, I'd also picked up the one on Klee and it was sitting next to me by the computer when I happened to open it while listening to one of the daily WH Press conferences, saw the Tightrope Walker and thought, Yes this is it!  This is what I am doing right now, what the president is doing, what our nation is doing and what the world is attempting to do--walk the tightrope and survive!) 

The Twittering Machine pictured below was done by Klee in 1922.  It preceded The Tightrope Walker by a year, which intrigued me as a fitting sequence in light of the twitterings and turning of the crank that have been taking place at all levels.  

Although both pictures were created a lifetime ago, they offer visuals that invites present-day recognition and awareness as we seek wisdom, accept responsibility, hold onto hope, look for light in darkness, and respond as needed to ongoing encounters with gravity and levity.  

From a personal, national or global point of view, art, which sometimes has the ability to include and transcend each, can serve as an invite.  

Who or what is turning your crank?  What tightrope are you walking?  What's helping you find balance?  What crossroads have you reached?  What direction are you heading?     

In the Comments: Dad Bones said:

Shellshock is a good word. I heard the gun go off and it sounded kinda close but AFAIK I didn't get hit nor did anyone I know. How much longer will I be able to say that? Or will it eventually just fade away because it wanted to and not because of anything we did to protect ourselves from it? I wouldn't know. I'm just another civilian in this war.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What it takes

The New Christy Minstrels were mentioned here not long ago. They took their name from the original Christy's Minstrels, who popularized the work of Stephen Foster, who was, without a doubt, one of the greatest American songwriters of the 19th century.

This is one of my favorites, and it is still appropriate today:

One of my sons jokes that the singer of that song used to live beneath the bridge pictured below. He's a funny guy. My son, that is.

But as for me:

The animator paid attention to ASL or mime or something...

My next door neighbor's redbud tree this afternoon:


I decided to add a bit more to this post - upon reflection I realize I missed what I was getting at, which is we used to have a lot more gumption in this country. I was thinking about my ancestors who made difficult journeys without the benefit of medical care, insurance or so many other things we take for granted these days like germ theory and antibiotics. And never forget about the sacrifices Americans made and the hardships they endured not that long ago. We all have stories, I know I do. Have we grown soft? More cautious? More aware of how diseases can overwhelm a society? I don't have any answers, but it is interesting to see this event play out in real time. 

On Uber With a B and Tips for Survival

This one's dedicated to Trooper York as he shelters in place under the TY Big Top.  

Out-of-work strippers are delivering food through Boober Eats

"Portland finds a way. Close down her strip clubs, and dancers will do delivery.
That’s what’s happening at the Lucky Devil Lounge. The club was forced to close with Gov. Kate Brown’s mandate to stem the spread of coronavirus, but the order does allow food establishments to offer take-out or delivery...It became very real when all this happened,” said one of the dancers, who goes by the stage name Olivia. “Dancers work for tips and tips only.”

And thus was born club owner Shon Boulden’s newest business: Boober Eats. The home delivery service, in which a pair of scantily clad strippers will deliver hot food to your door, started as a joke Boulden posted on social media. When people began seriously inquiring about orders, Boulden saw potential...'It’s crazy,' Boulden said.  'We mutated our one business into a totally different style of business.' 

All dancers are driven and escorted by a security guard. And there’s at least one rule that carries over from the strip club to a pandemic – no touching the dancers."

Monday, March 23, 2020

This is not my most positive post

This morning I had the grave misfortune to receive a call from one of our senators. It was a conference call. I listened to that motor mouth moron in love with his own voice deliver non-answers to citizen's concerns and I realized that I really didn't want to speak to that swamp dwelling power-grabbing power-hungry rat bastard commie as I might say something that would cause discord, mainly to me and those important to me. So as my anger boiled up I hung up the phone.

He was droning on about throwing us a bone in the form of a one-time $1,200 payment like he was Rockefeller handing us each a shiny new dime. Eff you, your commie unconstitutional horseshit is costing me a grand a month, minimum, and I am technically a microbusiness which employs no one. Try to imagine in your tiny pea brain the pain you are causing to those who employ people whose families depend on a paycheck. What I heard that blowhard saying was "Here's a hundy now go away, and quit your bitchin'". I won't forget this crap come election time, asshole, you are a piece of shit compared to your father.

We are in rainy season for sure.


To cool down I went back to work.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

These tunes go out to all of those missing in action.

One of my cats disappeared today. I thought she might have gotten out of the house but I wasn't worried as there are no Chinese restaurants around here, er, I mean, she was feral when I caught her and she can survive outside on her own. But then she showed up, sitting on the counter, waiting for supper. This means she has found a new hiding place in my house and next time she disappears I will have to try harder to find her. So while she was MIA for a while, the cat came back the very same day.

Vassar Clements.

Farewell to the Catskills.

Jesse James in an International pickup. 

Were this Brooklyn 2020 there would be social distancing.

Where I live.

This one goes out to my peeps in LA.

This one goes out to my peeps in L.A.

We are all solo now.

Tennessee representin'.

Colorado Springs - a beautiful place.

Cool Colorado rain.

Oh ya, the cheese heads is in the house, you betcha!

Take all the tea in China.

Never forget, these are indeed the days.

Hang on Buckeyes, Buckeyes hang on!

Sometimes when you look at your work it looks back at you.

Saturday, March 21, 2020


Because we do...

...or perhaps we need a little Easter.

If you watch the video, see if you can spot a very young Kenny Rogers. He's the guy playing the bass.

Friday, March 20, 2020

What did you do during the plague, daddy?

This popped up on my phone today - I guess he is capitalizing on current events:

Sebastian Maniscalco on social distancing.

The bit is amusing, not side splittingly funny, but I will say this about Sebastian Maniscalco, while he has a funny accent and does not know English, he is one of the best physical comedians/mimes currently working. Even with the sound off he communicates very well. Were I more Italian I would be better at ASL, just sayin'.

Spring - spring arrived on "Thursday (March 19), we will have a change of the seasons: the occurrence of the vernal equinox, marking the official start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, it will be a rather auspicious occurrence: the earliest that the equinox has occurred nationwide in 124 years. 
The exact moment of the equinox will occur Thursday night at 11:49 p.m. EDT (0349 GMT on March 20), according to the astronomy reference book "Astronomical Table of the Sun, Moon and Planets" (Willmann-Bell, 2016). At that time, the Earth will reach the point in its orbit where its axis isn't tilted toward or away from the sun. Thus, the sun will then be directly over a specific point on the Earth's equator moving northward. On the sky, it's where the ecliptic and celestial equator cross each other." 

That is from an astronomy site. The equinox arrived early due to Leap Day, Daylight Savings time and some other things, but there you go - it is here, it is now spring.

Weather - speaking of spring, it was 82 and breezy here today - I am having to water my plants already. But what else are you going to do, eh?

Reclusivity - several people, relatives and non-relatives alike have contacted me to see how I am doing. The funniest message I got was from a guy I have known for a while - he wrote "How are things? I assume not too much different except the government has mandated that everyone act like you already do." That made me laugh.

Taxes - the other day, facing months of enforced solitude I figured I might as well do my taxes. Of course, once I started the process the filing deadline was extended by 90 days, but I went ahead and filed anyway. Is it coincidence or should I take it personally when the government proposes to give me back the same amount I just spent to have my taxes prepared and the amount I had to remit to the feds? That creeps me out. How about I just keep my own damn money and we call it even.

Work - I have been making things, as usual, and I have repaired a couple of lawnmowers. Here is a bowl I finished today:

I bought some off-falls from a company up north that stack laminates through-dyed veneers, then I laminated those pieces into a larger blank, sawed out a bowl blank, turned and finished it. What else is one going to do when one can't leave home? Oh, right, I don't leave home even when the Chicoms are not infecting us.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

On Light between Heavy, Sean of the South, Good Stuff Happening and Thelma Lou

I recently started receiving daily posts from Sean of the South, a storyteller who wrote Stars of Alabama, the book I’ve been listening to on Audible; and they’ve been serving as a small source of light between heavy. I experience Sean as skilled at pulling a story together, a little hokey at times with I suspect some embellishment added to set the tone and wrap up loose ends, but in the overall sincere enough make me believe most of what he writes is real. But then I grew up in home that had a stack of Reader’s Digests and Guideposts stashed in the bathroom as reading material, so your mileage may vary. Yesterday's post contained four stories of good stuff, differences made in hard times, with the following as the first:
 FORT MITCHELL, Ky.—The Oriental Wok restaurant is your quintessential family owned Chinese restaurant. They’ve been around for 42 years, and business has been good. But business is about to go down the toilet due to the shutdowns on Monday. Restaurant after restaurant is closing. One out of every five people in the U.S. have either lost their jobs, or had their hours taken away due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve ever worked in food service, you know how this closure hurts. A server lives on tips. Five bucks here, eight bucks there. Servers are constantly carrying platters, collecting dirty dishes, forcing smiles, yes-sirring, no-ma’aming, and apologizing because the kitchen made the General Tso’s chicken spicy enough to disable a musk ox. After a typical shift, many servers go home, balance their checkbooks, and discover they will be eating Kraft Mac and Cheese for the next six months because of mounting bills, and their oldest kid needs dental braces. Just before the Oriental Wok closed its doors, a few final customers walked in. They were regulars. They ate, they paid, they left. There was a note written on their receipt, which read: “Your family has always taken such good care of us through the years, we know it’s going to be a tough few months.” They left a $1,000 tip...

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

On Heavy Between Light, Filling Emptiness and Kicking Another Kan Down the Road

I found this one in an oversize book of Kandinsky color plates I don’t remember purchasing but must have valued enough to take along in the move and stash in the downstairs library where it very likely would have remained unopened for who knows how long were it not for a story telling bowl turner, a brother, a ripped recliner in the weeds, a scrappy Calder loving kazoo creator, and a blog named Levity. Such is the power of splooge!

Heavy Between Light is the name of the painting, with these words from the artist on the back of the plate: “As in a mobile, all the forms are moving, set in motion by their position on the pictorial plane and in relation to one another”.  

Sitting and reading outdoors in the sun with the cat yesterday,  I came on the excerpt below from the book,  Drinking from the River of Light, the life of expression, by Mark Nepo, with this dedication by George Bernard Shaw:  “You use a mirror to see your face, you use art to see your soul”.  

From the author:  "I thought at first, that real, lasting work--whether building a barn or writing a poem--was a matter of honesty.  And it is, and so there is no choice but to find the skill to do it cleanly.  But I have learned that essential work is not even feasible unless one is immersed--unless in the midst of discovery one is patient, exhaustive and determined to keep things honest overnight, through winters and lazy moons.  For in a world where we are pressed to be quick, timely, catchy, where acceptance and celebrity looms as the soft addiction of our culture--in such an industry of filling emptiness--it requires courage and perseverance to stay authentic and to pursue your depth, your spirit, your truth--for months and years and, possibly, for the rest of your life.  

It seems impossible to counter the age we live in, but our enduring testaments lie under all our noise:  dormant, waiting to be created, waiting for sustained crisis and attention to release them. Waiting for unmitigated effort, the way Virgil worked The Aeneid for ten years, though he exclaimed along the way, “I’d rather die than look at it one more time." The way Lorenzo Ghiberti took twenty-five years to carve the bronze doors of the Baptistery in Florence--a quarter of a century to sculpt bodies in relief so real they seem to have been breathing just moments ago, then dipped in molten gold.  Unmitigated effort, the way Friedrich Schiller, on his death bed, kept his feet in iced buckets in order to stay awake to finish his play, Mary Stuart.”

Though I’d most likely give up before the ice buckets, I understand the imperative, with another story on that to share another time.  For now, I'll say that the canvas I'm currently painting on is one that I stretched and prepped 44 years ago for a college art class I didn't complete, with nothing more done to it while it sat waiting in another basement to be carried along with the Kandinsky book to a new home where it would finally receive more color and light.  The idea of sustained crisis and attention serving to release what is waiting within intrigued me, as did the enduring testimony and invitation present in another's out of balance yet in balance expression of Heavy Between Light (painted in 1924 and sold in June of 2012 to a private collector for $1.74 million) that gives voice to where I sit today, seeking and finding my own balance and expression of color and life somewhere between heavy and light.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

How about some music?

I mowed my lawn Friday and this time of year the smell of green onions getting mowed is impressive.

Now when I run in my yard the aroma of newly mown grass wafts up in the air - that's a nice thing.

I will be going to the store later this week, hope I can find something to buy:

While out walking today I saw these large trees. They had been blown over in a recent storm:

They reminded me of this song:

Keep in mind, in these trying times, this is true for all of us. Compassion will win the day.

I also saw a number of waterfowl in the pond we pass during our walks. They reminded me of a joke, which also relates to that song:

How do you turn a duck into a soul singer?
Put it in the oven until its bill withers.

But I strongly advise against such things - I like birds. In fact I saw three crows mobbing a hawk while we were walking. Mary had never seen such a thing before so I pointed it out to her, also showed her where the crows' nest was - they were defending it pretty darned well, cawing up a storm. Good stuff.

Topical meme:

I saw this for the first time yesterday, yeah, it's not new, but it made me laugh:

Plus, if I can remember the tune I can spell the word - win/win!

That led me to look up the original Beatles tune, one I had not bothered to listen to in many decades (four? five? - who knows - I moved on, just sayin') - it's a rather jaunty little tune that is amusing in its own '60s kind of way:

Word on the street is that if you are dancing the coronas can't git ya! Dance, dammit!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

I saw this and it made me laugh

And how about some music to go with:

Some nice Spanish music. Imagine yourself on a nice beach somewhere, far away from the diseased crowds.

Speaking of vectors, I thought of a new one - suppose my friend comes home from work, where she works with people, some of whom have a fever, then she pets her dog before washing her hands. Then a bit later while walking I pet her dog, then touch my face before I wash my hands.

All I can say is speak kindly of me when I'm gone.

Speaking of missing in action, where oh where, is ricpic? Dude, we need music, art and poetry in our time of solitude.

Wait, what's that? More Spanish music?

Aw heck, how about some traviata music?


Calder made it look easy. It's not.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Norm Macdonald shoots, he scores!

It's morally wrong for me to do stand-up and cause strangers to possibly become sick. And now, with this virus, it seems even more wrong. I'm postponing my next two gigs, but am hopeful a vaccine comes that protects us all from Tom Hanks Disease (THD)."

That made me laugh. Long may the words "Tom Hanks Disease" echo through our beloved nation.

KLEM TV: Viral Version

As read on Drudge...just change the word "AIDS" to "coronavirus:"

As for Drudge's "150 Million Americans Could Get Infected" headline, keep in mind his* choice of modal verb: could. Not will. Not may. Not even should. Could.

Has anyone else noticed the weird struggle going on to name the current virus? Coronavirus is out; covid-19 is in. Wuhan Flu is definitely out because it's "racist." I'm reminded of the struggle to rename ISIS under the Obama Administration; they always insisting on ISIL. They needed to spread out the Islamic state to include the whole Levant and not just Syria. Porqué? Just trying to connect dots here.

Lastly, as for the "he said Xi said" origin of the virus -- I suspect that a careful analysis of molecular signatures could solve this were I more a molecular biologist than a chemist.
*Does anyone even trust Drudge since he sold out? Does he even write his blog??

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Adventures in social distancing

Funny topic for a recluse, eh? But seriously, I do interact with other humans. Store clerks, mostly, but upon occasion I go walking with a friend - our dogs get along so we go out and get our miles walked. That works well for all involved.

As it turns out she speaks softly and I am hard of hearing - normally not a problem, but since she has a job in a building with other humans I try to not get too close to her these days. Our conversations go a lot like this:

Her: "Mumble mumble mumble". Me: "Mm hmm".  Her: "Mumble mumble mumble". "Mm hmm" and that's it. But that's okay - no reason for me to get too darned close these days.

Now the emails have started arriving - after I wrote to my ASL teacher saying that I was taking a break from class I got an email stating that the center where classes are held will be closed until further notice. Well there you go - no more ASL until the virus goes non-viral.

The store where I shop sent an email stating that they are going to start cleaning the store and disinfecting the shopping carts. That's nice. I am reassured. I feel healthy, I feel like running. Fast and far away from that place!

In happier news, my dog turned 13 today:

Happy birthday, Boudreaux, you are a great dog. If she sees a coronavirus she will bite its face off.

I figured out how to fix my lathe, fixed it, then finished this red maple bowl today:

The Summer of Boo Boo

We were really excited about our new neighbors. They came from overseas. In fact they were Chinese. Mama was happy because she thought she could get them to do the laundry. Brother Bear kind of liked their young daughter. He even stopped playing with himself and stalking campers with long brown hair. 

Only Papa Bear was not happy. He didn't trust foreigners. Especially slant eyed Bears. He was right for once.

You see the Chinese girl gave Brother Bear a Virus.

 (Stan and Jan Berenstain "Son of Boo Boo", The E True Hollywood Story of the Berenstain Bears)

Whose that author?

I was startled from a solid sleep by Jamie exploding out of bed beside me. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but as usual, it left me sitting bolt upright amid the quilts, dry-mouthed and completely dazed, heart hammering like a drill-press.
He was already down the stairs; I heard the thump of his bare feet on the last few treads—and above that sound, frenzied pounding on the front door. A ripple of unrest spread through the house: rustling bedclothes, sleepy voices, opening doors.
I shook my head violently and flung off the covers. Him or me? was the first coherent thought that formed out of the fog drifting through my brain. Night alarms like this might be news of violence or misadventure, and sometimes of a nature that required all hands, like a house fire or someone having unexpectedly met with a hunting panther at a spring. More often, though…
I heard Jamie’s voice, and the panic left me. It was low, questioning, with a cadence that meant he was soothing someone. Someone else was talking, in high-pitched agitation, but it wasn’t the sound of disaster.
Me, then. Childbirth or accident? My mind had suddenly resurfaced and was working clearly, even while my body fumbled to and fro, trying to recall what I had done with my grubby stockings. Probably birth, in the middle of the night… But the uneasy thought of fire still lurked on the edge of my thoughts.

Whose that Shorty!

She has starred in a couple of pretty good cable series. In the one that I like she is the hard charging studio executive who gets naked a lot and gets railed by the series hero. Her month is coming up and her time is now.

Whose that shorty?

Ed makes a very good point!

The estimable edutcher makes a great point in one of his very astute comment:

"Something I ought to put in here just so people have a point of reference.

Did a little reading on Anthony Fauci, who Fake News loves because he occasionally contradicts Trump.

He's 80 years old and has spent his entire professional life working for the Feds. Yeah, from the day he got out of medical school. Better than 50 years. Kind of the Obiden-Bama of government medicine.

His big rep in epidemiology comes from work on AIDS. Given how badly that was mishandled, next time you hear the name, might not hurt to get a second opinion."

So we are relying on the same sort of Deep State bureaucratic hacks that brought us the War on Terror in Afghanistan and the war on drugs. The same idiots. The ones who are wrong about everything all the time. 

The media is beating the same drum in trying to destroy President Trump. You know no matter what he does they will say he is wrong and killing babies or something. When the whole Democratic party is based on murdering babies. This is just bullshit to the max. 

I am telling you they are deliberately trying to tank the economy to destroy Trump's presidency. Think of all of the ways they have tried to destroy him. They think this will work. They don't care if they cause a panic or destroy peoples livelihoods. They want to stop Trump's rallies and any gathering of people exercising their constitutional right to assembly.

I am telling you that this is extremely serious. If they can get away with abrogating our right to assemble they will move on to our right to bear arms. To our right of freedom of religion. Cuomo would be happy to expel religious people who own guns. He has explicitly said so. Now he is using the National Guard against the people. This is how it starts..

(Aside to Lem. I hope an image of a Unicorn farting will not cause you to be reported to the Google Gods. I don't  know how I can post explicit pics of Betty Rubble getting railed by Dino and don't hear a peep.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

I drink your milkshake

I am working on my social distancing - what the hey, might as well get used to in just in case, and in addition to working, the one thing I have been doing during my personal time-out is watching movies.

Today I finished watching "There Will Be Blood", a long-winded movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I saw it years ago (it was made in 2007) and upon re-watching it my first thought was "This Daniel Plainview character is nothing like Bill The Butcher from 'Gangs of New York'". Of course, as the movie progressed my first impression was proven incorrect - Plainview is every bit as violent and ruthless as Bill Cutting. Typecasting maybe?

Anyway, it was an interesting movie set in an interesting time, but the story kind of meanders then trails off into nothingness by the end. It is based on part of an Upton Sinclair book entitled "Oil" and therefore it is full of predictable leftist agit-prop. You can imagine the points it hammers over and over.

But it is a well made film, shot in attractive, sometimes accurate geographic settings, every shot uses the rule of thirds, there are plenty of tracking shots and with DD-L you know that the scenery will be well chewed by the time the credits roll.

Without giving away too much of the story, there is an explosion and a young child is deafened due to his proximity to the blast. First time I saw this movie I knew no ASL at all so I didn't pay any attention to the signing. Now I know a little bit. I know enough to recognize that the actor playing the deaf character as an adult is not a native signer - he signs like I do - choppily and with no fluidity whatsoever. But it was good to see signing in a movie, so I won't fault him a bit - he had to learn how to sign in a limited amount of time.

We can all learn from DD-L - if only how to inhabit a role so thoroughly that we can withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. That is always a useful skill.

We had an interesting sunrise this morning:


Appartement: A New Word For Our Times

noun: a real or imagined psychological discomfort caused by the expectation or anticipation of future political or socio-political events.  The term originated with specific reference to November 2010 elections but may also relate to future events (see further below under Extended Meanings).

Appartement derives from the French word for apartment, and is preferably given a French pronunciation. The cognate English word apartment conveys the notion of "a set of private rooms in a building entirely of these".  The new word is derived from an older notion of separateness which ultimately manifests as solitary living. A paradox of appartement philosophy is an anti-communal spirit (preferring to abide alone) and this feature distinguishes adherents of appartement philosophy from earlier anti-establishment movements, for example, the hippies.

Extended Meanings
(1) Appartement philosophy began in the early 21st century as an earnest rebellion against what adherents viewed as increasingly materialist, amoral trends within United States social culture. Initially identified with a politically left-leaning philosophy, the appartement movement championed greener living, despite the need for more and more additional single person dwellings.  Appartement philosophy championed cultural diversity, indeed to the point of regarding everything and everybody as equal (but separate).  Adherents of appartement, notably white, young and affluent, actively despised cohabitation with opposite and even same sexed partners, especially if children instead of pets were involved, preferring the solitary "apart" lifestyle.

(2)  Appartement describes the existential angst of living alone in a big city surrounded by relative well being, yet having the feeling that that relative well being may unexpectedly vanish.  As a societal phenomenon, appartement sentiment first emerged as embodying independence and upward financial mobility, particularly amongst youths reaching or exceeding college age.  Appartement philosophy was best exemplified in the halcyon days of condominium speculation in the first decade of the 21st century.

(3) Appartement sentiment describes the feeling of willful detachment that adherents may feel when contemplating great swaths of fly-over-country where people live in actual family-based units which they consider archaic.

After the November 2010 elections, fictional and real portrayals in novels, films, and television began depicting appartement adherents with growing derision and scorn.  Adherents of appartement began to be seen as an isolated phenomenon.  Paradoxically, as world events incurred to unify the United States, the appartement movement smoothly blended into the fabric of greater American society.

[Addedappartement is exacerbated by modern social networking. To some degree, people "network" at the expense of forming older, more traditional social networks such as neighborhoods]
I wrote that years ago on my blog here. You can check out the back and forth that blake I had at the time. Anyone remember blake?  I think I still have the power to summon him, but I won't at this time.

I dug this out for review because of very recent "social distancing" which certain universities are pushing. I'm predicting that "social distancing" will fail for very human reasons -- people are not geared to handle the existential angst of being alone. They will "safe cluster" instead.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Stuff's gittin' out of hand, just sayin'...

We have news and art, first, art.
More Kandinsky:

Kazoo guy got an order today for a custom kazoo that would match his potential customer's Kandinsky print that hanging over said customer's mantle - how's that for a coincidence, eh? I sawed some colorwood pieces, bagged them up and shipped them. Once they arrive down the ocean we will see how well they match the colors of this particular Kandinsky. Dude says he sees someone fishing and someone swimming in that picture. I can't disagree.

He recently completed a kazoo based on a Calder painting:

That reads, top to bottom, Calder painting, kazoo blank, finished kazoo.

But back to the important things, dogs playing poker.

We know all these dogs:

M. C. Escher knew dogs:

Edvard Munch must have had a dog:

My take on color vision and poetry:

I just read that Duke is closing down due to Wuhan flu. The message was signed by some minor functionary over there named Vincent E. Price. I can't help but think of this: