Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wabi Sabi

OK, peeps, there are plenty of things to get all up in arms about, but today I won't.

First of all, I am working on relaxing. I relaxed hard core (not an oxymoron) while on vacation in Great Basin NP, a place I recommend highly. Check it out:

Second, the FFM rides me hard like Mexico every time I exhibit a modicum of stress, which just stresses me out more, which is setting me up for a heart attack, if bad drivers don't get me first.

Third, I have been thinking about wabi sabi and want to pay that sweet Japanese world view homage today right here.

In essence, wabi sabi is the art of accepting transience and finding beauty in the so-called imperfections presented in nature through the cycle of birth, growth, decay and death.

I started thinking about this concept while lying in bed this morning, sometime before I fell back to sleep and woke again almost an hour after the alarm goes off, thinking, so what? Big deal. I needed that sleep, and I enjoyed the freaky weird dreams that came with it, and the world did not end while I had my eyes closed. (Now, that's relaxing, eh? And even if the world had ended while I was sleeping, I'd be pleased to die amid a dream.)

Anyway, so there I lay, thinking about how my mom said that my sister's house is like a museum, and "mine" isn't. I like my used furniture, not only because I am cheap and would prefer to spend the money I do have on food, drink, books and travel; and not only because it pleases me to know that things are being reused rather than tossed out, saving natural resources; but because that stuff's got character.

My orange easy chair, for instance. That chair was free. It's this burnt orange kind of color, in a that sort of boucle fabric that feels really good when you run your fingers across it. I love that thing. And the faded areas and pulls in the upholstery just make it more beautiful. You know? The cat made those pulls. So, that makes you think of the damn cat. And the worn parts remind you how comfortable it feels to just sink down into that seat and find a niche.

That's how I started thinking about wabi sabi this morning, and hellz if it didn't relax me for the day. I mean really, what else is there but the cycle of life, seasons, change, right? I just get in this weird little funk sometimes where I forget.

Maybe I should carry a picture of that chair around with me. heheh. I will definitely take all that stuff with me to Aubergine House. The President's got a stressful job!

Here are a couple pics from Great Basin. I am serious; go. Our national parks are gems. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sen. Franken Questions BP About Worker Safety In HELP Committee


BP did not go away while I was gone, nor will anyone likely be fooled by these antics of Hayward stepping down and "an American" stepping in. No, no, no.

But, that is all for today, except for this fine video provided by MadDog, for which I am grateful because I know I should be checking in, having returned a few days ago, but dag, other things keep getting into my schedule.

Remember, even, how hard it was to get this guy, Senator Al Franken, into the damn seat to which he was elected? Yeesh.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Great Basin

Peeps, am going to Great Basin NP for a few days, leaving mean people politics behind. If you don't know where it is, don't feel alone. In fact, I love that hardly anyone to whom I mention my destination knows; all the more room, and a campsire ensured.

Hiatin'- catch up on return

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ship buried in 18th century unearthed at WTC site

This is a way cooler story to check out than yet another rant on people just being messed up, like the dude in New Mexico who shot up his GF and then a whole bunch of other people at her workplace? I mean, really, for someone who does not advocate capital punishment, I am getting dangerously close to saying we ought to just start stringing up people who screw up like that. What IS the excuse? It's like everyone has one any more.

But, back to the story... Thanks, Togus:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Workers excavating at the World Trade Center site have unearthed the 32-foot-long hull of a ship likely buried in the 18th century.

Archeologists say the vessel probably was used along with other debris to fill in land to extend lower Manhattan into the Hudson River.

Archeologists Molly McDonald and A. Michael Pappalardo were at the site of the Sept. 11 attacks on Tuesday morning when workers uncovered the artifacts. They call the find significant but say more study is needed to determine the age of the ship.

The two archeologists work for AKRF, a firm hired to document artifacts discovered at the site. They found a 100-pound boat anchor in the same area on Wednesday, but they're not sure if it belongs to the ship.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ubaldo! Ubaldo!

This just makes me happy:

July 12, 2010 – National League All-Star manager Charlie Manuel of the Philadelphia Phillies has named Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez as the National League's starting pitcher in the 2010 Midsummer Classic. The first-time All-Star is 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA (127.0 IP, 87 H, 46 BB, 113 SO) in his 18 starts.

Follow the All-Star Game live on on Tuesday, July 13 at 6 p.m. MT.

Or, are we just a bunch of spoiled brats who cry when we don't get our own way?

Look Ahead in Anger

Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

Five months ago, Andrew Joseph Stack III, a middle-aged man who had a long-running dispute over taxes with the federal government, flew a kamikaze mission into the IRS building in Austin, Tex. On the Internet, numerous bloggers immediately declared Stack a hero, a martyr in the war against Big Government.

At about the same time, with health-care reform seemingly stalled, left-leaning activists grew increasingly shrill in their denunciations of President Obama. He was, many opined, a false messiah, a cheat, a Manchurian candidate for the right who had promised change and instead delivered more of the same old cronyism and corruption. Unemployment was nearing double digits; partisanship was as omnipresent as ever; government had bailed out the banks and allowed their executives to pocket obscene bonuses. When Obama announced that he would send more troops to Afghanistan—a priority he had reiterated time and again during the election campaign—the filmmaker Michael Moore wrote a public letter to the president accusing him of undermining the hopes and dreams of millions of young Americans. When Obama made compromises with Congressional figures to forge a viable coalition around health-care reform, his left flank immediately declared that he had been bought off by corporate America.

After Congress finally passed health-care reform, the rage axis tilted again. Their expectations scaled back by the upset victory of a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, progressives were a bit quieter, and it was a scarred conservative movement that was again, literally, up in arms. Scores of Democratic politicians started receiving death threats; many were so worried that they asked the FBI for extra protection. Around the country, Tea Party candidates, frequently representing little more than an inchoate rage against the zeitgeist, mounted strong primary challenges to entrenched, long-serving Republican politicians, and some sober GOP'ers, hoping to stave off defeat by the insurgents, remade themselves as rage-filled harbingers of imminent doom. House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, of Ohio, repeatedly declared that passing the health-care bill was not just politically wrong but apocalyptic. As the primary season progressed, incumbent Democrats, too, began to feel the sting. Alan B. Mollohan, of West Virginia, became the first House Democrat to lose his seat. The confrontations continued, with a biker and his son, angered at government, in a shootout with the police in Arkansas.

In many ways, whether our political leanings are left, right, or middle of the road, rage is our shared experience these days. One way of looking at what is happening is that it is an expression of our anxiety over what increasingly looks to be Pax Americana's departing hegemony.

During the Bush presidency, furious books by liberal commentators—Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, for example, topped best-seller lists. Today, with a liberal president, one is more likely to see conservative jeremiads dominating the list: Glenn Beck's Arguing With Idiots; Sarah Palin's Going Rogue; Michelle Malkin's The Culture of Corruption. Liberal or conservative, they tend to be books long on hyperbolic rhetoric and short on facts.

Over the past year, that rhetoric has threatened to swamp our political culture. Increasingly, a language of bitterness, frustration, and fury has become our default response to the unraveling of illusion. It is no accident that the most rageful moment in modern American history has emerged barely a year after one of the most utopian moments—the movement that swept Obama into the White House and brought millions onto the streets of America's cities to celebrate his victory. "In addition to resignation and a cynical turning away from yesterday's illusions," the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk writes, in his book Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation (originally published in Der Zeit, recently brought out in English translation by Columbia University Press), "these waves often lead to momentous formations of rage."

More at:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

And now for the good news

This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with... I don't recall whom, but I do remember the gist being that we only get the "bad" news, not the good, which can make for a pretty skewed view of the world if a person forgets the other side:

Truth in journalism is usually found on the comic pages. -Frank DeGennaro

A radio commentator noted that the news we generally receive through the media is "a proctological view of life." What is presented as the news is a carefully distilled entree of mayhem, culled for commercial saleability, playing on base fears and sensationalism. Much of the news we receive is not honest, for it is not an accurate reflection of the truth. While the media lets us know that a rape occurs every five minutes, it does not tell us how many acts of kindness occurred in that time. We rarely receive statistics on how many children were brought into the world with delight and appreciation; how many teachers told their students, "You are destined for greatness"; how many athletes dug into themselves for the stamina to complete their jogging; how many creditors extended extra grace to their overdue accounts; how many drivers slowed down to allow cars from a side street into the lineup on a main thoroughfare; or how many times anyone said, "I love you." When the news reflects the whole of life, not just its sordid aspects, it will be honest, serviceful, and worthy of our attention.

If we wish to get more accurate news, we must withdraw our fascination from evil and reinvest it in peace. A San Francisco newspaper published two different versions of a day's news, one with a sensational headline about a murder, and the other with a more modest banner about progress in peace talks. The sensational headline outsold the more mellow edition by four to one.

(Today's meditation from In the Rooms)

Friday, July 9, 2010


This is for the FFM. He wants a blog entry ABOUT him, and he will get one... oh, he will get one... but for today, this is just too good to pass up.
(From my dear old best friend in elementary school, Andree, who is a fine photographer herself)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I hope those people who threatened to not give money to UWYo if Bill Ayers were allowed to speak

pony up- or should I say "cowboy up?"- and contribute $86K to the university, now that we know how much pandering to them cost. I, as a student, surely as hellz do not want to be footing the bill via a tuition raise.

Ayers lawsuit costs UW $86,000

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming spent more than $86,000 on a federal lawsuit brought by 1960s radical Bill Ayers and a student.

The university's newly released spending total includes the $50,000 the university paid to settle the lawsuit.

Ayers and student Meg Lanker sued the university in April in U.S. District Court. They contended that the university was preventing Ayers from speaking on campus and had violated their rights to free speech and assembly.

Judge William Downs granted a preliminary injunction that allowed Ayers to speak on campus, which Ayers did on April 28.

UW spokeswoman Jessica Lowell released the compiled legal costs. They include nearly $30,000 paid to Thomas S. Rice, an attorney for the university. The costs also include $6,570 for travel and incidental expenses related to the lawsuit.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm feeling some animosity toward paying tax on my beers

when I go down to the local bar. Do you suppose the State of Wyoming Department of Revenue will suspend that tax, too? Or will I have to resort to my "2nd Amendment Rights?" Jeeeeezus Christ, help us all. (As in it looks like there are some tables in the Temple of Arms that you might want to turn over in righteous indignation, since the law apparently isn't doing its job.)

Agents face increasing animosity at events across state, Department of Revenue official says

State suspends tax at gun shows

By JOAN BARRON - Star-Tribune capital bureau | Posted: Sunday, July 4, 2010 2:00 am

CHEYENNE -- The Wyoming Department of Revenue has suspended sales tax collections from gun shows because of increasing animosity toward the state's field tax agents.

Dan Noble, director of the department's excise tax division, said Friday that an incident at a gun show triggered the decision.

He added, however, that resistance from gun show sponsors and participants has been a recurring problem statewide.

"I have 10 field reps throughout the state, and every one of them has experienced some animosity," he said. "Folks are nervous anyway because there are guns there. I don't want to put my people at risk."

More at:

Monday, July 5, 2010

If Sharron Angle shoots herself in the foot any more times,

I don't believe she will be able to stand up any more, at all.

I mean, seriously, peeps, tell me this woman would not possibly get even a single vote, given her ridiculous actions?

Angle Sends Cease-And-Desist To Reid -- For Reposting Her Own Website

"Sharron Angle has resorted to an unusual maneuver to counter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attacks on her past quotes and positions, the Reid campaign has announced: A cease-and-desist letter, demanding that Reid no longer republish Angle's previous campaign website.

"The short version of the story is as follows: After the former state Rep won Nevada's Republican Senate primary, Angle's campaign took down most of its website, and later replaced it with a relaunched version that in some ways toned down her right-wing rhetoric. But Internet pages are rarely ever forgotten -- the Reid campaign saved the old version, and put up a website called "The Real Sharron Angle," reproducing the old content."

More at:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I love Anthony Pollina.

"July 4th is more than parades and fireworks.

"It’s an opportunity to remind Vermonters that it’s time to declare our independence…from industrialized food, banks too big to fail, and unfair taxes.

"for a real Vermont Buy Local, Hire Local Policy; time to invest in local renewable power and local businesses and farms.

"It’s the message we are taking to holiday celebrations and will be one of our priorities in the Senate next year.

"But, about those parades (gotta love them):

"Saturday the 3rd we are in Montpelier for the 6:00 PM parade, lining up around 5.

"Sunday the 4th we’re marching in Worcester, meeting at 10:30 AM, and then heading up to Cabot, missing the parade, but not the people. Likely stopping in Calais on the way.

"Feel free to join us.

"Remember, a new law makes the primary early this year – August 24 – so campaigning is picking up sooner, with more to do over these usually lazier days of summer. The early primary also means earlier expenses for signs, mailings, and other things. So please help by making a contribution online or sending a check to Pollina for Senate, Box 93, Montpelier VT 05601.

"This is an important race for those who share our progressive values and want more progressive voices in the Vermont Senate. We will do it. But need your help to make it happen.

"Stay in touch.


Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm so happy, and here's the reason why:

And they didn't have to worry about obesity. I think the cure to our current national illness is crystal-opaque.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Flippin' Politics

Peeps, I flipped out about politics again last evening, raising my voice to obscene levels. My dad is in town, and he has been brainwashed by the hard right conservative shock-commentators who only want to point blame and claim there is so much wrong with everyone else in this country (especially Mr. Obama... I had to remind my dad that when I was taking the heat in high school as senior class President, he calmly told me not to worry, that I was limited in what I could do in my office and that really a president is more of a figurehead for people to stand behind than someone with inordinate power to perform every act that the people expect).

I can't take it. I couldn't take it. I told him, pretty loudly, that I don't care to hear from the conservative or the liberal media their spin on the facts, I just want to hear the damn facts. Fat chance of getting those.

He's home now, so I better go. (We made up when I reminded him that there isn't a politician in power who is really there for us, the regular people, and that not a single one of us will ever have a shot at being elected to office.)