April 30, 2007

Vladimir Kush, a living painter, whose work is greatly reminiscent of Rene Magritte. I was greatly taken by this of a sailing ship. Great imagination.

April 28, 2007

Citizen Bill

by Jim Kittelberger

Bill Moyers is back on weekly television and I for one am really glad to see him back. He is one of the true democrats (small d) who speak for the masses and to quote from a definition of same, shows scorn for bloated dukes and lords in government, business or wherever else he finds them.

That he chose to return to television now is certainly no brain pusher with a scandal a minute breaking out, and politicians by the score out huckstering themselves as the messiah to lead us all out of it. He's seen it all before, heck he was once one of them back in his days of employment for Lyndon Johnson.

Is he liberal? of course he is, but he's not running for anything nor is he talking everyday for three hours in a non-stop monologue trying to convince all of us that it is proper and logical to steer the ship of state from the far right. Everyone knows you cannot see the whole road from way over there. If he himself steers from the center to a left of center it is at least different from our last six years of mono-government and one party rule of all the governing bodies.

If he can shed light on at least some of the murky goings on in secret political places and the established political oversight committees start doing their jobs, perhaps the country will again belong to the people.

In the meantime Citizen Bill may entertain us with some of those artsy people like poets or philosophers; people that one party rule has determined that we should not fund, or even listen to. They, after all, speak from time to time of dreams and hopes and civility amongst all the people, not bad thoughts to have.

Welcome back Citizen Bill.

Do you think he gets hazardous duty pay? That roof is made of slate which makes it very slippery. I took this out of my car window on a very overcast day so the picture was tilted and the sky was completely gray. I have a sister-in-law who is a shark with photoshop. She made it a nice blue-skyed day and straightened the building up. Great job.
I was married in this church fifty one and half years ago. I was so nervous that day I may have knocked it off its axis then.

April 27, 2007


Marked Man? Like Hemingway, Mark Twain loved to boast of his hunting and fishing exploits. Returning to New York by train one day after a three week fishing trip deep in the heart of Maine (long after the state's fishing season had closed), Twain retired to the lounge car in search of a suitable stranger to whom he might relate his fishing adventures.

Having struck up a friendly conversation with a prospective admirer, Twain soon found to his dismay that his boasts of a great catch elicited a grim reaction. Still Twain pressed on...

"By the way, who are you, sir?" he finally inquired.

"I'm the state game warden," the stranger growled. "Who are you?"

Twain nearly swallowed his cigar. "Well, to be perfectly truthful, warden," he answered, thinking of his catch, iced down in the baggage car, "I'm the biggest damn liar in the whole United States!"

[Trivia: At the start of the monsoon season each June, Cambodia's Tonlé Sap Lake floods as water comes in from the Mekong River. When the monsoons end in November, the lake lowers, leaving mud banks perfect for rice farming. The lake sometimes lowers so quickly that the locals are able to pick fresh fish out of the trees.]

Twain, Mark [born Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910) American humorist, writer, and lecturer [noted for his autobiography and for such works as Life on the Mississippi, Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)]
Story borrowed from http://anecdotage.com


Today I came across a cartoon in the New Yorker of two seemingly happy guys sitting at a table in the local tavern making a toast. The punch line was "To missing the big picture".

Well after smiling a bit at the premise and moving on, it seemed to stay with me as I thought more of what they were saying. Isn't it a fact that most of us have probably missed the big picture, if in fact we knew what it was.

I suppose it varies for all of us. To me, since I am getting up in age, it encompasses a complete life, the plusses and minuses, and seeing if I end up with more credits than debits. I can say that in the big picture I am more pleased than not with the way it, my life, has turned out.

But that slippery term means many different things. It was a metaphor at one time for the second world war and that made sense trying to tie all the countries involved into the, you got it, the big...

In an ad agency, all the elements of an ad campaign, media, testing, research etc. would be merged into whatever would sell the product, or person to a less than wowed public...the big picture.

Having to cope with the big picture seems to indicate we have some power over it. Most of us do not. Most of probably would not want to.

I don't think that is an indictment of our lack of ability, but rather our desire not to have the responsibility of exercising some control over other peoples lives. We sleep better at night after spending a hard, long day keeping our own big picture in focus.

April 26, 2007

Sister sister from birth to my final breath
your love I never doubted.
When once we were rivals for the parental love
that we didn't yet know was ours, endless and unquencible.

Sister sister we may have squabbled and bickered
for reasons we knew not why, over causes we were
too young to understand.

Still too young too understand the changes taking place in
our minds and bodies. Yet aware of the urgency and the
rightness of our stands.

As the years passed, and through each crisis we weathered, we
learned one enduring fact, that seperately we were only
half as good as we could be together. Together we were able to
withstand any injustice, any challenge, while forming a
bond that grows stronger even now. A bond only sisters
can attain. A closeness that demands nothing in return for
the love and respect each has earned.

A unity born of common flesh, an undemanding love,
the knowlege that the other will always, always be ready
to extend unqualifed love that will last until one passes
into memory. A sisterhood strong, loving, lasting, a
relationship that begins with challenge and ends with love
that knows no earthly bounds.

April 25, 2007

This poem by Garrison Keillor is nonsensical of course.


By Garrison Keillor

Of life's many troubles, I've known quite a few:

Bad plumbing and earaches and troubles with you,

But the saddest of all, when it's all said and done,

Is to look for your socks and find only one.

Here's a series of single socks stacked in a row.

Where in the world did their fellow socks go?

About missing socks, we have very few facts.

Some say cats steal them to use for backpacks,

Or desperate Norwegians willing to risk

Prison to steal socks to make lutefisk.

But the robbery theories just don't hold water:

Why would they take one and not take the odder?

Socks are independent, studies have shown,

And most feel a need for some time alone.

Some socks are bitter from contact with feet;

Some, seeking holiness, go on retreat;

Some need adventure and cannot stay put;

Some socks feel useless and just underfoot.

But whatever the reason these socks lose control,

Each sock has feelings down deep in its sole.

If you wake in the night and hear creaking and scraping,

It's the sound of a sock, bent on escaping.

The socks on the floor that you think the kids dropped?

They're socks that went halfway, got tired, and stopped.

It might help if, every day,

As you don your socks, you take time to say:

"Thank you, dear socks, for a job that is thankless.

You comfort my feet from tiptoes to ankless,

Working in concert, a cotton duet,

Keeping them snug and absorbing the sweat,

And yet you smell springlike, a regular balm,

As in Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps,

And so I bless you with all of my heart

And pray that the two of you never shall part.

I love you, dear socks, you are socko to me,

The most perfect pair that I ever did see."

This may help, but you must accept

That half of all socks are too proud to be kept,

And, as with children, their leaving is ritual.

Half of all socks need to be individual.

April 24, 2007

John Updike

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, setting there, the words, "Good dog! Good Dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Through surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.

I've had quite a few pets in my lifetime, but I don't consider myself a pet lover. But we did have one pet that my wife and I consider the most excellent of all the animals we took into our house. A cat named Louie, a gentleman to be sure. A cat that thought he was a dog. He would accompany one of us to the door when a guest would arrive and he recognized the voice. He would allow us to tie a red bow around his neck for Christmas ornamentation during the holiday festivities. In short he lived with us for a dozen years or so, and considered himself a member of the family. He was, a cherished member. When his end came we were all devastated, so much so we could not ever try to replace him. So I understand now how pet lovers can cherish an animal equally with the human specie.

April 23, 2007

I believe that I should initiate a series of serious comments on current events. Here is the first of really serious questions facing the American people, and recommendations on how to solve the dilemma. From Onion, enough said.

In The Know: The U.S. Moat
I discovered quite recently the show DOGFIGHTS on the History channel and want to recommend it to anyone who has an interest in flying or warfare in general. It combines great animation, film and still photos to make a greatly interesting half hour show. This clip is less than ten minutes.

As we maneuver through the stages of life, we eventually get to the stage when the children are raised, jobs are retired from, and we find ourselves able to remake ourselves, as it were. We are able to live out the question invariably asked of each of us at a very young age: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

Well my roommate of fifty one years plus has let her creative juices flow unabated and just for the fun of it is producing objects that rival her professional colleagues in the marketplace. That is a completely unbiased opinion of a completely unbiased observer of course, chuckle, chuckle.

She creates these objects in spite of being a person born under the sign of the Gemini. For those who don't take note of such things, those who entered this world between May 21 and June 21 of the year are officially designated a Gemeni. The symbol for Gemini is the twins, whose character traits are duality and changeability. My point being that it is my belief if my roommate would have not been born a Gemini she may have gone further in her chosen field of endeavor.

But now here we are on the other end of our lives interjecting the question: IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER, I WOULD HAVE...

It's fun having the time and freedom now to entertain questions such as these, and for my roommate to let her creativity flow and produce objects that reflect her talents and her Gemini given leanings of changeability just for that end, the fun of it.

April 22, 2007

Goodbye winter. I am not psychic, but I think we've seen the last of this kind of stuff for a while. But as you can see, we were a little too optimistic a few weeks ago and moved some of the summer stuff out before it was time, to quote an old Orson Wells commercial.

April 21, 2007

I ran across these two poems recently and am running them both again because they are very similar in tone and content. Please notice the dates, three days before the Iraq war began. Obviously all the wise men went mute.

Monday, 17 March 2003

By Jim Kittelberger

When I was so very young
white was white and black was black
right was right and wrong was wrong.

When I was so very young and words would fail
when young pride alone remained,

shins would be kicked
and noses would be punched,

Until finally
bruised and tired
the dust would settle
and we'd be friends again
no harm done
or so we said.

As the years went by
we learned the value of words,
the power of words,
those mind-opening, world changing
powerful words.

All through life
words brought us love,
and riches. Words could
create great enterprises,
convince the masses to
try this or try that
taste this or taste that
drive this instead of that.

Then why can't we use those powerful
words amongst nations to find
a path to peace?
Why can't we find the time?
Where are our great minds? Our magnificent orators?

Is the equation too hard?

I grieve for all the parents who will soon be asking
why did my son,
my daughter have to die?
Not to be able to see another beautiful sunrise,
or sunset;
to know the peace and serenity of growing old;
having had time to sample all that is good under
Gods beautiful sky,

Because we could not take the time to talk
and perhaps reason to find another way.

Life is worth the words.

Saturday, 15 March 2003

Yvor Winters comparing countries to car traffic written in the thirties. and very apt for today with countries preparing, it seems, for inevitable war.

Courtesy of Robert Pinter.


Evening traffic homeward burns
Swift and even on the turns,
Drifting weight in triple rows,
Fixed relation and repose.
This one edges out and by,
Inch by inch with steady eye.
But should error be increased,
Mass and moment are released;
Matter loosens, flooding blind,
Levels drivers to its kind.
Ranks of nations thus descend,
Watchful, to a stormy end.
By a moment's calm beguiled,
I have got a wife and child.
Fool and scoundrel guide the State.
Peace is whore to Greed and Hate.
Nowhere may I turn to flee:
Action is security.
Treading change with savage heel,
We must live or die by steel.

My comments are not so much on the poem, which I think is very much in tune with todays approaching war, which I hope and pray does not come. The United Nations is taking a bad rap because they cannot agree to agree with our countries reasoning. But that is what the UN was started for, to talk and talk and compromise and talk some more instead of going to war. It is doing that even though we don't agree with all that is going on. Talk, boring talk, is better than war and death. Ask the parents of the young people who will have to fight this war which they would choose.
I can't attribute this photo to whomever took it, as I found it browsing through Stumble and was amazed at the sadness and despair the picture evoked in me. I am unable to ascertain if it is still inhabited or not, but the general shabbiness of the whole scene and the stories it may evoke is enough to prevent the viewer from invading its privacy any longer. I won't.
A painting by ESCHER. A man that had a strange mind for sure. Some of his paintings makes a person think they are in one of the rings of hell as described by Dante. This one is just strange, but makes me think that he has constructed the scene with the buildings in his imagination and is maybe going to write about what he sees????? Who knows.

April 16, 2007

With sincere apologies to Mr. Glackens and Mr. Manet for adulterating their famous paintings, but sometimes I find it irresistible to add smart aleck words to famous paintings. I suppose I have a vile streak of graffiti madness in me. REMEMBER: CLICK ON THE PICTURE AND IT WILL ENLARGE.

April 14, 2007

Painting is by Paul Lewis Clemens, painted in 1938 during the depression years for the Wisconsin Federal Art Project, categorized as New Deal Art.

I thought of my home team the Cleveland Indians, and their joy at finally being able to play in their own stadium, delayed because of terrible weather conditions and winter weathers reluctance to leave.

April 13, 2007

I love to read the latest Robert B. Parker books. They are not very long. They are printed on thick quality paper. They are triple spaced, and the chapters are short. All of the above must be accoutrements earned by a consistent best selling author.

I just recently finished his latest titled HIGH PROFILE. A novel about Jesse Stone, the police chief of a small town in New England, which has morphed into an occasional TV movie starring Tom Selleck as Jesse.

I usually don't find much to criticize in his novels, because they're not nuclear science, they're just a few hours of easy reading, except in this latest book. He, the author, seems to have a hang-up with ending relationships. He, Jesse, has an ex wife who slept around on him on a fairly consistent basis. They got a divorce, but she keeps showing up in his books and the storyline is becoming predicable. To add to the aggravating storyline, he has inflicted this same social handicap on another character in this book, a woman cop, Sunny Randall, who has an ex also with the same hang-ups. Parker has got me to the point where I grimace whenever his ex-wife is mentioned in one of his books because I know where this is going. Mr. Parker, ditch the ex-wife.

April 12, 2007

Seeing a picture can bring back many memories. Some of them might be substantial thoughts, or as in this case very unsubstantial and in fact frivolous, and actually meandering. But all these thoughts and memories are plugged somewhere in our brains, big or small. I saw this picture of a New Yorker cover created in 1941, and it struck just the right note as to how it was in my young years. Whenever we saw someone with a tan in the winter, in the midwestern USA, we just knew they had to be rich.

But these days it is quite different. To create a winter tan you only have to go to the local tanning beds, or now some people even own their own. There is tanning lotion you can purchase that will create the illusion of a tan overnight, or for those times when you only want to create an illusion for a special moment there is body makeup that will do the trick. But in my youth seeing someone with a tan in the winter in my part of the midwest was a sure sign of wealth, and perhaps in 1941 that was true, because I don't think credit cards were yet thought of, so we had to actually live on what we earned week to week. Now that is going back isn't it.
AND SO IT BEGAN....as found in answers.com
Diners Club became the first credit card company in 1950, when it issued a card allowing members to charge meals at 27 New York City restaurants. In 1958, Bank of America issued the BankAmericard (now Visa), the first bank credit card. In 1965, only 5 million cards were in circulation; by 1996, U.S. consumers had nearly 1.4 billion cards, which they used to charge $991 billion in goods annually.
credit card Origin: 1888

Long before the first credit cards were issued in California in the 1950s, an American visionary of the nineteenth century imagined them. Not only that; he envisioned that a cashless society, using credit cards for purchases, would exist at the end of the twentieth century. Falling asleep in 1887, the narrator of Edward Bellamy's novel Looking Backward, published in 1888, wakes in the year 2000 to an America whose problems have been solved by getting rid of buying and selling. Instead, "A credit corresponding to his share of the annual product of the nation is given to every citizen on the public books at the beginning of each year, and a credit card issued him with which he procures at the public storehouses, found in every community, whatever he desires whenever he desires it." It works for travel abroad too: "An American in Berlin [for example] takes his credit card to the local office of the international council, and receives in exchange for the whole or part of it a German credit card, the amount being charged against the United States in favor of Germany on the international account."

Bellamy's credit card is actually what we nowadays would call a debit card, one that draws from an established account. The plastic credit card first issued by California's Bank of America in 1956 was more radical. It did not require prepayment but offered the bank's own credit, instantly, for purchases at a great variety of participating businesses. With credit cards, businesses could offer customers the convenience of credit while the bank took the risk (and a percentage of the price).

We have a long way to go before reaching Bellamy's vision of a cashless society, and we are farther than ever from his vision of a society without banks, retailers, and advertising, but the end of the twentieth century has put credit cards in nearly everyone's hands, with accounts immediately accessible by computer almost anywhere in the world.

April 11, 2007

I had to have a complete 'overhaul' on my computer, but all is now well. I will be back to posting very soon.