November 21, 2009

November 20, 2009

Palin Looking Forward to Reading Her Book - Borowitz Report

Palin Looking Forward to Reading Her Book - Borowitz Report

Books, books, books.

I love it when I run across some books that I can get into and lose myself for, in this case, seven hundred pages. It happens sometimes, and is a special bonus when I have found seven books at our annual book sale. It seems I may have a month or two of pleasurable reading in store.

Strange as it seems, when I go to my favorite book store Barnes and Noble and spend an hour browsing, I couldn't find that many if I tried hard. Of course finding seven books in a book store and paying for them seems like a mission impossible. Let's see seven times twenty-five dollars comes to hummmm one hundred seventy five bucks, yikes.

While in this imagine mode I probably could not find seven books very easily. I think I would be too particular in my selections. If you're paying 175 dollars it would take some serious musing. When I am at the book sale it is so great because if I see something that even looks like it might be good, into the bag it goes. Heck I throw them into the bag even if the cover looks good. But this year I think after a slower look through my picks think I got seven I will read through to the end.

Well I'm outta here, I left my good guys and bad guys in the Philippines in 1943. Everything is about to come to a conclusion, not necessarily a good conclusion but that's the way it was in those years.

November 19, 2009

a funny one

“It’s been reported that outspoken anti-immigration anchor Lou Dobbs is leaving CNN. Yeah. True story, yeah. He’ll be replaced by a guy named Juan, who will do the same job for $5 an hour.” – Conan O’Brien

November 15, 2009


I'm uploading this for family. This was the day I came back from Kandahar in Sept. 2005. Life has changed since then. But Gracie is still a good dog. UPDATE: (11-13-2009) - This is crazy. I posted...

November 14, 2009

Moyers thinks that Afghanistan has the stink of Vietnam all over it.

I really enjoy watching Agatha Christie mysteries on PBS. I hardly ever follow it completely, probably not much at all if the truth be known. That does not though lessen my enjoyment of the mystery. Maybe I have a little Anglophile in me or I like to able to doze off and wake up without much loss of plot since I really didn't know what was happening before.

November 13, 2009


This came across as a New York Time alert. True it really did, today, just now. WATER FOUND ON THE MOON. Now to me that brings up several questions. Is the planet in a stage similar to our prehistoric age, or perhaps in a post suicidal age after the bright politicians and scientists blew the planet up? Whew it kind of gives me shivers thinking that there could be another whole planet of us; and the moon is sort of our next door neighbor. Crank up the NASA lobby, I see a large bill being presented soon to the congress from the space ship garage. But on the other hand, new territory for McDonald's and the toy makers can start making the new Barbie and Ken's moon relatives. And then.......

Wait, this isn't a Friday the 13th joke is it? The venerable old Times from New York taking a page out of the MAD comic book? Hmmmm.

A TOUR THROUGH MY MEDICINE CHEST (good to the last drop)

"Wait a minute, good to the last drop was describing coffee I think, Oh well."
Helen Thomas and Craig Crawford discuss their new book WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A GOOD PRESIDENT. Video runs about a half hour.

November 12, 2009

It's a little early maybe. But maybe not. I always loved Christmas when I was a kid, but all kid's love Christmas. I was glad to get Thanksgiving over with so I could concentrate full bore on THE day. What was I anxious for? Presents of course. I was a kid. But I still love Christmas, I still love going to church (CONFESSION)* usually my one day of the year I make it there. But for pure shivers up the spine I still find singing carols on Christmas eve night ultra great. Most preachers are pretty cool by not pointing out or asking 'and what is your name please'. So I say to you, maybe I'm the first, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas; and also get those presents you really want.

To my sons who served in peacetime and war and gave of themselves come what may. As in everything you do I and your mother are proud of you both.

Harry Allen Davis 1914-2006

November 11, 2009

The question was asked: If you could wish, where would you wish to wake up tomorrow morning?

Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

I thought about it a little and I believe I would like to wake up tomorrow in a bed next to my wife in a little apartment in Alexandria, Virginia when we were in our early thirties, and live it all over again.
Dollars, Euro's, Yen, Yes it does make the world go around.

November 9, 2009


There has been two pieces of social legislation that I would have been proud to have voted for. Those two are Social Security (FDR) and Medicare (LBJ). Without both of them I probably could not have retired or been able to enjoy my remaining years.

Medicare's benefits have probably kept me from out of bankruptcy court. If we live long enough, parts of our bodies wear out and must be replaced, and the costs of these inevitable visits to the parts department are not cheap.

These two programs, and I don't exaggerate, make life for the elderly worth continuing. The Health Care program (BHO) will be, when passed and implemented, the third and hardest fought for addition to the American Promise, a proud achievement that will declare to the rest of the world that for all our bickering and name calling, good things can be achieved.

How do we pay for the good intentions of our legislators? President Obama promised through the long election process to bring our military men and women home and end our direct involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Up to now it is an unkept promise, but if it was kept, the amount of money used to fund the military machine could be used for the home economy, perhaps the infrastructure, at the same time creating many jobs in the process.

The military industrial complex that President Eisenhower knew about first hand and warned us against knew that military hardware providers are not easily satisfied and must be continually fed by blood, sacrifice, and money. It is time for that to end.

There will come again a time when America will have to face others on the battlefield, but for now, enough is enough. It has taken us seven years to get to where we are now in Iraq. Afghanistan could match that. After that there is Iran, a nuclear power in case you forget, and then North Korea, a nuclear power. When and where does it end. If we remain in our present stance and take on all comers we most certainly will have to re-install the draft because as valiant as our volunteer army is, there are not enough for all the battlefields we may have to march into. Our volunteers need everything we can give them, and rest is one of the things they need.

President Obama knows that for each reason he feels is right for bringing home the troops, another special interest group will counter with all the resources they can muster, to remain and use all the military hardware they can sell the defense department. For each of the reasons to save the lives of our young military people, the CIA, the NSA, and other agencies will find never ending reasons to prevail.

The president will have to be strong to withstand these elements that wish to continue wars to feed their personal coffers, but he must. He does not want to follow John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and then Lyndon Johnson who were sucked into the tragic game of just a few more troops and everything will be fine until those few troops ended up being hundreds of thousands and a dispirited country learning the lesson that we cannot and should not become the policemen of the world.

Mr. President, do not emulate President Johnson and pass a landmark social program (medicare)and then lose your presidency by being pulled deeper and deeper into an unpopular war.

November 8, 2009

A clip from John Huston last picture that he directed before his death. All the events happen at a dinner party put on by three sisters in Dublin. I love it because it is so civilized in the best meaning of the word.

ANDREW NEWELL WYETH, PAINTER, July 12, 1917-January 16, 2009

Is Andrew Wyeth a Realist? A Regionalist? A painter of Rural American Life? A painter of Naturalism?
Though he has been described as all of these, the artist continues to elude being classified neatly into any
one category.
Andrew Newell Wyeth III was born on July 12, 1917. The youngest of five children of N.C. and Carolyn
Wyeth, Andrew was named after N.C.'s great grandfather. He began drawing at an early age, but was not
formally taught by his father until he was 15. His father began teaching Andrew academic art skills by
having him draw white spheres and cubes on a neutral background with charcoal. Andrew did studies of
the geometric forms, complete with accurate tone and shadows, for many months. He then studied the
skeleton until he was able to draw the entire skeleton accurately from memory. Although most of the
studio time with his father consisted of traditional academic drawing, Andrew also spent much time
exploring, observing, and drawing the country around his Chadd's Ford home with pencil and watercolor.
The family spent the summers in Port Clyde, Maine, where Andrew painted watercolor studies of the rocky
coast and the sea.
Andrew achieved success in his 1920's with watercolor shows at the Macbeth Gallery in New York, and
was featured on the cover of American Artist by age 25. He married Betsy James in 1940. They spent the
summers with the Wyeth family in Port Clyde, Maine, and rented the old schoolhouse studio from N.C. in
Chadd's Ford. They have two children: Nicholas, a successful art dealer, and James, a well-known artist.
Andrew Wyeth continues to work everyday in his home in Pennsylvania.
Andrew mainly uses pencil, watercolor with drybrush, and tempera. He once stated, "With watercolor, you
can pick up the atmosphere, the temperature, the sound of snow shifting through the trees or over the ice
of a small pond or against a windowpane. Watercolor perfectly expresses the free side of my nature."
(Hoving, p. 33)
The use of drybrush is used on top of the watercolor—layer upon layer like a weaving process. The
drybrush builds tone and adds fine detail and texture to the work. The artist Peter Hurd, a former student
of N.C. Wyeth, introduced the traditional medium of egg tempera to Andrew. Andrew loved the dryness of
the paint and the earthiness of the dried pigments. "My temperas are very broadly painted in the very
beginning. Then I tighten down on them. Tempera is, in a sense, like building, really building in great
layers," (Hoving, p. 34) he stated.
Two areas, the Olson farm in Maine and the Kuerner farm in Chadd's Ford, provided inspiration for many
of Wyeth's works. "Kuerner's was right over the hill from where I was born. I was intrigued by the fact that
Karl Kuerner was a soldier who fought in the German army and came to America right after the war,
became a hired farmer, and finally owned a farm. The abstract, almost military quality of that farm
originally appealed to me and still does. Everything is utilized," he said (Hoving, p. 39-40).
"I went to Maine when I was a very young boy with my father and mother. Through the Olsons', Cristina
and Alvero and their house, I really began to see New England as it really was-just the opposite to the
Kuerners. The world of New England was in that house overlooking the mouth of the Georges River"
(Hoving, p. 42).
About his painting, Wyeth said, "I go beyond the subject. That's the summation of my art. Emotion is my
bulwark. I think that's the only thing that endures finally. If you are emotionally involved, you're not going to
be easily changed. But if it's purely a technical experience that's going to be very short-lived. Both
technical and emotional have got to be on even terms to be good" (Hoving, p. 185).

November 7, 2009

Like an awful lot of us, my wife and I say a short prayer before each meal. Here is my all-time favorite. It is not only a nice short prayer, but it is in my estimation a philosophy for life.


Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn't learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little,
at least we didn't get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn't die;
so let us all be thankful.

The Buddha

It's break time and you're in China. That means it's time for a little tea. Here's how it might be done.
"What me? What did I do?"

November 6, 2009


1. the advance group in any field, esp. in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods.


Bill Moyers, for Veterans Day, shows the horror of and the memories the soldiers carry with them the rest of their lives. Soldiers from WWII, Vietnam and Iraq share stories that expound the nitty gritty of war, not the John Wayne versions. Check out the short version here.

November 5, 2009


Need a good reason to end the US war in Iraq? How does one trillion dollars sound to you? That is the amount it has cost USA citizens thus far to keep it going. Isn't it time to end it?

Why don't we do that? President Obama as a candidate said he was going to end it. Surprise he didn't and looks like he won't in the future. What is it about Presidents and wars?

We have a sad economy to look after, we might if we use that trillion dollars here also might just get a chance to start paying back China and get about a thousand of our IOU's back from them if we start using our war money on the home front. Make me sleep better at night.

The only way a war ends is the President throwing all his chips in, forget about the next election, and end the damn thing. Forget about the senate and the house of representatives doing anything. They are a group who knows they've got it good, and would not want to jeopardize losing their job and have to cut ties with their great friends the lobbyists.

The onus, the absolute onus is on the President. He will lose his job by ending the war I am sure but it is better to be remembered for something than nothing at all.

You cannot keep shuttling our brave volunteer Army over there again and again, and again. If the war is continued, it seems necessary and apropos to start a draft and at least make it equitable in the sufferings of families having their sons, daughters and spouses put into harm's way.

President Obama did say over and over again during the electioneering that he would end the war didn't he? The only question was how soon. I believed him then, but on this issue I no longer believe he will. I think the only question he is considering is how many more beleaguered troops will he send over once again.

By the way, it occurs to me that we still have Iran and North Korea, both nuclear powers we will want to challenge in some armed conflict in the guise of world policemen. By the way is there still a foreign legion? Oh no no I'm sorry that's us isn't it.

November 4, 2009

SINATRA HAS A COLD. I remember reading this article years ago. It didn't surprise me that Sinatra was cranky and out of sorts. Don't we all feel like we want to be left alone, and yet catered to with a little TLC? Yes, even we common folk wish for that, but I meander, we are talking about the Sinatra of monumental ego. The article is read to us on video by Mary Louise Parker (about three minutes). Enjoy.

November 3, 2009

Falling Man, Alberto Giacometti (1951) via Sotheby’s

I'm sitting here thinking I'm getting very hungry for supper. I feel I am wasting away like the falling man above from lack of victuals. Were it only that easy to lose some weight like being ten minutes late to the table. I feel the lack of food is making me delirious, as these last few lines indicate. Bye.

November 1, 2009


Masterpieces of the Universe

Masterpieces owned by banks, but never or seldom shown to the public. I have no opinion, except to say keeping great art hidden away in vaults seems wrong somehow.