31 December 2004

My favorite live performances of '04

I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
........................................................................ -William Wordsworth

Sufjan Stevens and Joanna Newsom
7.29.4 - Dante's, Portland

"Boy Howdy RIO"
4.16.4 - Cervantes Ballroom, Denver

(Chris Cutler, Thom DiMuzio, Hamster Theater, Janet Feder, Cuong Vu,)

Okkervil River

4.6.4 - Berbati's Pan, Portland

The Walkmen

7.14.4 - Berbati's Pan, Portland

The Arcade Fire

12.10.4 - Bossanova Ballroom, Portland


Also worth mentioning:

The Decemberists – Nocturnal, Portland (1.24.4)
The Mountain Goats – Berbati’s Pan, Portland (5.24.4)
Quasi/The Thermals – Crystal Ballroom, Portland (3.12.4)

30 December 2004

Something to Think About:

Aid for Tsunami victims - $350 million
Bush Inaugural - $45 million
Cost for one-day of Iraq war - $177 million

So financially, our current Administration equates helping the poor tsunami victims worth about two-days of waging war in Iraq.

29 December 2004

Philosophy v.1

“Life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward.”

Soren Kierkegaard

25 December 2004

Kellie Campbell: 8.6.62 - 12.25.4

Kel passed this morning at 8:01

24 December 2004


23 December 2004

Bumperstickers Seen on Road v.1

I can only please ONE person per day
Tomorrow doesn't look good either

21 December 2004

Jokes That Write Themselves v.1

Separated at Birth
Ebenezer Scrooge and Donald Rumsfeld

18 December 2004

Dear Santa:

Please Bring Me This!

Watch a video of ASIMO running

Because I.Explorer SUCKS, you'll have to watch on Firefox

(which you probably should be running anyway)

16 December 2004

to beat the Jeopardy-dood who won million$

(My Jeopardy Catagories via Bridget)

I'd Need These Catagories:
1. . Yamaha Motif-8 recording procedures
2. . Relational Organizing
3. . Coffee & Cigarettes
4. . Bush Admin Ruining the US
5. . Late Compositions of Beethoven
6. . Sobriety

15 December 2004

Somehow, we all survived.

Phoenix, AZ (1976-1978)

I still owe Eichman either $90 or the two lids of Red-Columbian he fronted me that time him and Rob went in together to buy a pound from that older guy down on Palmaire, but Eichman still owes Rob for the $40 extra he covered to pay the dude...Then there was Rob owing me $120 for my Head skis that he ruined at Sunrise when my step-brother Steve loaned them out without my permission; but I owed Rob $30 for his bong I broke on the bicentennial 4th of July night atop my parents roof when we tried to do 200 bongs but quit after 68 because we both had severe headaches. That's $120-$30 which is $90, I can give that to Dave...Oh! And Thymius owed me $35 for 2 months worth of the 5-bucks a week in gas for picking him up to make it to first-hour at Camelback. So if I pay Dave the $90, he can pay Rob the $40 and...yes! He can give the other $50 he owes Jon for the cases of Hofbrau Octoberfest & McEwans Tartan Ale we drank that one night in Rob's pool room and then in turn, Rob pays $50 to Thymius who gives it back to me for the gas and also for a bunch of my Henry Cow and Hatfield cassettes he ended up with. With the rest, Thymius owes Eichman for the mushrooms we did that night Dave broke his leg at Echo Canyon...but no wait, that night Thymius was paying back Rob $50 for the guitar he sat on and broke in his room, and me and Eichman back for that one night at Encanto Park when Thymius kicked in an extra $15 bucks for that gram of coke Rob was short on that we all ended up sharing in which my part, covered Rob and Bonnie's two tickets to Be Bop Deluxe I got them at Odyssey Records (in which he partially paid me back with one Gentle Giant ticket) and a little later by paying for my share of the beer I drank that night we all went out in Dave's jeep and got lost in the desert behind Bonnie's Mom's Frank Lloyd Wright house and I think Rob evened up with his share a couple of nights later when we drank a couple of six-packs of Monkshof atop of the water-tower down the street from Dave's mom's house on 37th.

So $120-$30, and $90-$50...the $40 to Rob and the $30 which cancels out the $60 with half going for Jon's $45 to me, and minus $50, and the $50 which cancel each other out...plus the other $50 minus...so... carry the one, $50 -$30...that leaves Rob owing Eichman $20 after all is said and done...and wait, oh man! Rob paid for the potatoes that time we all went camping at the Mogillion Rim! That time when all that we brought to eat was potatoes to see if we could survive in the wilderness. Shit man, we're all even! And we all survived.


14 December 2004

3 Drummers:

Karen Carpenter
Janet Weiss
Rachel Blumberg

ok...so I get into this argument yesterday with--let me say politely--a less-than enlightened music aficionado. He was going on and on with the, "how a woman can't play the drums as well as a man because of the physical strength thing" take. Now, (of course) this is stupid for way too-many reasons...but for our purposes here, I will enter into the defense, three irrefutable cases:

Exhibit A: Karen Carpenter
Karen was a 'drummer's drummer'. According to friends and family, she played the drums seriously right from the start, spending hours practicing. Her brother Richard recalled, "She seemed to take to them in nothing flat." Drummers who knew her, talk about her extraordinary ability in performing one-handed rolls.
Session drummer (and former Mickey-Mouseketeer) Cubby O'Brien, who joined the Carpenter's road band in 1973 (and also recorded some of the album tracks) remarks: "Karen was very knowledgeable about the drums and was a very good drummer, there's no doubt about that. Some of the things we did together were not easy. I remember one time Karen and I went to see Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson's band. I knew Buddy fairly well, so before the show, I took Karen to meet him backstage. He was getting ready when I introduced her, 'Buddy, this is Karen Carpenter.' And he said, 'Karen Carpenter! You're one of my favorite drummers, you know that?' Karen always hated when somebody would say, 'You're really good--for a woman,' Nobody better have said that!"

Exhibit B: Janet Weiss (Quasi, Sleater-Kinney)
Fact - it was when Janet first joined Sleater-Kinney on their 3rd record, 'Dig Me Out' that their sound evolved into how it is known today. That might just be the best indication of Janet's drumming prowess one could present. Although, there is Quasi, where she pairs up with (ex-husband) Sam Coomes in a stripped down exhibition of creative quirk-pop. Janet has a remarkable ability of laying down solid rock-grooves that are uniquely interspersed with these creative, metric-percussive-melodies that move the music to the downbeat. Her own take on the female drummer issue is clear: "I don't think people look at me as a female drummer; I'm a girl and I'm a drummer. Obviously being a girl is how I relate to things, but I think it's too complicated of a question to answer. It's been simplified in the media a lot - it's pulled out as this novelty thing. I enjoy seeing women play music and I enjoy playing music. I think it adds an interesting dimension...especially seeing a band live." I love Janet's playing.

Exhibit C: Rachel Blumberg (The Decemberists, Norfolk & Western)
Rachel solidifies my defense. I think she is one of the most 'musical' drummers playing today. Her drum-approach to most Decemberists songs travels past the 'laying down of the power-groove', reaching a more percussive 'coloring style'. She accomplishes this with her dynamics and melodic playing utilizing her kit, sticks/mallets, cymbals, bass drum, gong and other assorted percussion instruments, along with her background singing. So, Rachel never hits the hell out of the drums...rather, she plays them as an artist paints a canvas, (excuse my hoaky metaphor.) A lot of times she'll use the tone of her drumkit toms to provide the melodic beat, foregoing the usual BD/Snare approach. I've seen her play live a couple of times and she is one of these drummers I can't take my eyes off; her musicality just screams for attention. Along with Rachel's percussive duties, her beautiful (background) voice really fills out a lot of Decemberists songs, and it should be noted that she has a prominent vocal-role in her work with Adam Selzer's group, Norfolk & Western. Rachel is also an independent contractor for youth advocacy and a drum instructor.
And I don't really have time to rave about Melissa York.
Check her shit out.

Closing argument: If it's really all about "power and strength", then will anybody ever top Elvin Jones?

13 December 2004

From the "Where am I?" Dept.

10 million light years to Earth and in

It really gets interesting once you hit the earth.

This "anime" comes from Molecular Expressions in Florida. Their photo gallery contains thousands of full color photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope) and digital images.

12 December 2004

Cash Canvas

Kamiel Proost: Money-Art
(originally) Miniature-painted One Dollar-bills

I suppose this is also a good indication of the value of a Dollar v. Euro

10 December 2004

Live in Portland Tonight:

The Arcade Fire & The Weakerthans

I'm excited as hell that I'm off to see the The Arcade Fire play this evening. Especially after reading Blogumentary, which mentioned them putting on one of the best live shows he's seen since Neutral Milk Hotel, (the only rockband over the past few years who officially won the right to have my babies.)
I really think "Funeral" is easily the best indy-rock release of the year. (the Pitchfork guys seem to agree)
Oh yeah...The Weakerthans are pretty good too.

08 December 2004

Famous Composers in Film v.1

Yes, that Varèse

A scene from John Barrymore's
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1920).
The man on the right is composer Edgard Varèse.
He has just administered poison to the gentleman in the middle, who seems to have been sleeping with his wife.

06 December 2004

A Scrabblist's Memoir


And yes, I think she probably is a little bit crazy. In the good way of course.

05 December 2004

from the "Shameless Self-Promotion" Dept.


Three New 5uu's Songs

are downloadable here


#1 "BULLDOZER"...June 2004 Ginger Studio, Tel Aviv

Scott Brazieal: keyboard

Chris Cutler: electri-kit

Ned Rothenberg: shakuhachi

Dave Kerman: brush drums, chair squeaks, toothpicks

Udi Koomran: computer, cassettes

Scott sent a meandering sort of electric piano track that reminded me of garrulous, human blathering. Since it was in no particular meter or time signature, Udi quantized it, and I set about to discern the new, ever-changing time signatures so I could play brush drums and toothpicks to the rhythm. Udi happened to be mastering a solo show that Ned had recently performed here in Israel, and the shakuhachi section sounded fantasic. The long, breathy approach seemed to be the musically intrinsic opposite of the piano track, so I convinced him to fly it into the mix, merely to see how it would sound. It was the rhythm track's perfect compliment. Chris' unrelated, electric-drums were then quantized and, amazingly, shared some rhythmic approximations of the keyboard (one of those happy accidents one can only wish for). To relate to the "blathering" aspects of the keyboard track, we flew in news commentary from Israel's incursion into Palestine and historic, taped accounts of Ariel Sharon ordering his forces that, "everything in the way is to be levelled, no exceptions". And yes, that's a real bulldozer playing the final solo.


#2 "RESOLVE"...May 2004 Ginger Studio, Tel Aviv

Bob Drake: drumstick slide-bass

Dror Fieler: contrabass saxophone

Scott Brazieal: keyboard, autoharp

Chris Cutler: electri-kit

Dave Kerman: guitar, hand percussion

Udi Koomran: computer

Deborah Perry: vocals (by proxy)

Probably not realising it, both Bob and Chris sent tracks in 9/8 and 7/8 timings. We managed to lock them up (by means of timecompression and expansion) and to make from them wierd, funk/club grooves. Guitar patterns were cut up to fit these, and akeyboard melody was flown in for the vocal line. The problem was that I hadn't written any texts, so we meticulously extracted differentwords that Deborah had sang on a previous disk (Abandonship), and used the computer to change their durations, note values and pitches to match those of the keyboard melody: "While doubt hides from ghosts, dismissing neighbors' screams; Pose not to refute the seeds of sordid dreams. Contrition steps forth, stays lost on angels' face. All will is the shield there burning with such grace". At the end you can hear the pallette of extracted words before being processed. Dror's huge, sax insanity was recorded by Udi at Noise Studio in summer 2000, but lay dormant until now. Bob had recorded the wierd 20 sec. loop of Chris playing crazy, speed/techno-electric drums, and we cut up one of Bob's shredding basslines to fit these timings and tempos. Scott's sounds added an ethereal tone symbolising the resolve of angels.

#3 "COMMUNITY"...May 2004 Ginger Studio, Tel Aviv

Avi Belleli: vocals

Dave Kerman: piano, chains, vocals

Janet Feder: prepared guitar

Chris Cutler: electri-kit

Udi Koomran: computer

This is a more straight-forward composition, where Belleli and myself multi-tracked many vocals to approximate the sentiment of a large gathering, sadly prone to certain aspects of assimilation.The impetus for the keyboard composition were a series of guitar strums sent to us by Janet (where her strings were prepared with all sorts of appurtenances); But these were later cut and pasted in are-arranged order, which forces the listening ear into the active role of transforming the piano chords into something they were not naturally meant to be. Chris' sounds offset the jagged enterprise, adding a naive sense of placation, and the chains represent a societal penchant for comfort, stability and surety in a world frought with uncertainty.

04 December 2004

Will Layman: "Cooking With Esther Bangs"

Chicken with Noodles

Chicken with Noodles
1/2 chicken

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh (or 2 tablespoons dried) tarragon
1 cup chicken stock
1 pound egg noodles
3 carrots
1 cup of young peassalt and pepper to taste

Brown a half a chicken in a 350-degree oven. Actually, fuck it—brown the whole thing. Interesting question is whether you should have just gotten a duck like the young and still wildly misunderstood Pops Armstrong would have done, dousing the whole thing with cayenne and (let's be honest) some less-than-legal "herbal" rub that gives the poultry a glisten of pump-and-thrust that The Man just can't deal with. If you don't have the money, and shit if we've had any money recently, you can do the whole thing with rabbit for a fraction of the price as long as you're willing to spend a couple hours in the backyard at the crack of dawn with a baseball bat, a butterfly net, and some Vicks VapoRub. Just make sure the cunicular flesh is tender to the touch after it's stopped twitching in your hungry, bare hands.
Whether you go with chicken, duck, or rabbit, you're gonna get a nice flavor if you rub the skin with the butter and sprinkle the whole carcass with a mixture of the lemon and tarragon. You know it's done when the slow roast of the oven turns the skin light brown and it starts to pucker, pulling away from the pliant meat ever so slightly, the same way Billie Holiday would drop just enough behind the beat to make you certain as rain that sweeping the floors in Alice Dean's Baltimore whorehouse at the age of 11 wasn't exactly a bowl of bonbons.

Man, the older Billie got, the more her voice croaked into a fucking personification of slavery itself and you'd have to be a moron or a plantation owner in one of the darker corners of Alabama not to realize that Artie Shaw and his fucking clarinet were little more than a phallic nightstick of oppression without Billie's wounded sound rescuing the whole band and making you see that the chicken is now totally ready to be pulled out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Boil the noodles in a mixture of stock and water, undercooking them slightly. Test the noodles after three minutes, as most people will overcook them, ruining the whole meal. You want to strangle these people. You want to ask them whether they plan to get a fucking clue, but you don't want to listen to their lame excuses, like how the phone rang while they were boiling their noodles and they were distracted for a moment, because anyone who would overcook an egg noodle is the moral equivalent of a fan of the Paul Whiteman band, whose thievery of the work of true artists and general WASPy pomposity can only be met with the derision found at the end of a left hook, and thus such a person would not even have a friend who would be calling during the cooking of said noodles. So, for God's sake, test the noodles after about three minutes. If you don't like sticking your fingers in the boiling water, then by all means don't start cooking the meal until you've managed to finish a couple of late-afternoon Southern-Comfort-and-Cokes. Nobody said that cooking was painless, but you can do your best to make it that way. Drain the noodles and return them to the pot.
Cut the skin from the chicken, then tear at the meat with your fingers, creating a series of white fleshy strips. Think about all the parts of your body that used to look that good—lean and firm and delicious. Never mind.
Somewhere back you should have cooked the carrots and peas. Who really gives a shit how you do it—you think it makes a difference? Jesus, you expect me to tell you how to do everything. Then mix the meat, vegetables, and noodles in the pot, adding an extra tablespoon of butter and the salt and pepper for flavor. It's a meal in one dish. If your kid doesn't like it, talk to him about the Depression until he shuts the fuck up.

03 December 2004

Better is it to perish in that howling infinite

"Moby Dick" - Chapter 23
The chapter is is short, (six inches long Melville says) with Ishmael watching the sailor Bulkington command The Pequod over a turbulent sea. He writes of him as a restless seeker, fated to perish at sea and become immortal & God-like. Melville considers this kind of death infinitely preferable to fading away through comfort and cowardice.

When on that shivering winter's night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years' dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet.
Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that's kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship's direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights 'gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea's landlessness again; for refuge's sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe! Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep,earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!

02 December 2004

"...and we'll take care of the counting."

Rep. Peter King Clues Us All In to the Bush Election Strategy HERE
Uhmm...BEFORE the election, that is.

25 November 2004

aroma therapy


...Did someone say turkey?!!


24 November 2004

Short Story v.1

Incident on Flight 7225

Tomorrow, I'll fly to Oakland.

Incident on Flight 7225 . by Scott B
... As I was stowing a carry-on above my assigned seat on a flight to San Francisco last Thanksgiving, I discovered I was sitting next to this short, disheveled and disconnected fellow who was already completely engrossed in long and involved mathematic equations on his yellow legal pad.
... I had a good book with me that I’d been intent on reading for some time, but I soon had hints my neighbor would make this all but impossible. As the flight took off, my mind and eye were constantly shifting from book-page to peripheral vision, distracted by this man’s nervous demeanor. He was incessantly scribbling on his pad, usually followed by bouts of furious erasing while he simultaneously muttered numbers, letters and other symbolic phrases which I didn’t quite understand. He was also prone to lapse into long periods of silence while staring out the plane window in a trance, only to then suddenly snap back into his routine. After one of his longer staring moments in which I actually managed to read a few pages, he interrupted me rather abruptly.
"Hey, do you want to play a game?"
... “Nah, I…uhm, I’m okay. I don’t think so,” was my slightly non-verbal but polite response. This only seemed to agitate him even more.
... "No really! I’m serious: I'll ask you a question, and if you get it wrong, you give me $5. Then, you can ask me a question, and if I can't answer it, I'll give you $5."
... I thought about this for a moment, but decided against it, especially seeing he was obviously a very bright man. I politely turned him down again.
... He wouldn’t take no for an answer: "Okay then, I'll ask you a question, and if you can't answer it, you give me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I can't answer it, I'll give you $50!"
... Now, I may not know String Theory and Quantum Physics, but I’m not stupid. “All right then,” I said as I closed my book. “You’ve got a game for a couple of questions.”
... "Excellent," he replied, rubbing his palms together as if to get warm. "Let’s begin then: What is the exact distance between the Earth and the Moon?"
... I instantly knew that I didn’t know this answer and without spending another second to think about his question, I reached for my wallet and took a $5 bill out to hand to him. He chuckled like a satisfied child as he accepted the bill and promptly said, "Okay, now it's your turn."
... I thought about my question for a few minutes, and then asked, "Alright, what living 'thing' goes up a mountain on three legs, but comes down on four?"
... The bright glow quickly vanished from my neighbor face. He thought about it for a few minutes and instantly launched back into his previous routine, taking out his notepad and scribbling numerous calculations. He finally gave up on his notepad and took out his laptop from under his seat, accessing his Multimedia Encyclopedia.
... I grabbed my book and settled into an hour of uninterrupted reading.
... As we were about to land, he finally gave up and reluctantly handed me a $50 bill. I accepted it graciously, turning back to my book silently.
... "Wait!" my neighbor pleaded. "You can't do this to me! What's the answer??"
... I looked at him, reached for my wallet again and handed him another $5 bill.


23 November 2004

From the "Really? Ya Think So?" Files

Military Academy Admission Down
It's somewhat of a relief to me in knowing that there is an upcoming generation of kids who aren't buying into the "go kill 'other' human beings for freedom & patriotism" crap that has been steadily dished out for 3 years now by the misleading and manipulative Bush Administration and their reactive/fear-based supporters who instantly seem willing to parrot any and all of their insane rhetoric without anykind of cognitive reflection or self-examination.
I say: if you believe in this war, then enlist your own kids to go kill or be killed.

MICHAEL HILL .. Associated Press

West Point applications were off 11% as of Oct. 21 compared to a year earlier. The U.S. Naval Academy posted a 20% drop by the same week and the U.S. Air Force Academy reported a 9% drop compared to early October of last year. At West Point, U.S. Military Academy administrators say the lower numbers likely reflect the tail end of an application spike that followed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Naval Academy experienced a similar spike in the last two years, but officials there said it was difficult to speculate on reasons for yearly fluctuations. With death tolls mounting in Iraq, some military officials have said they worry lengthy deployments and hard combat could hurt recruiting.
Of two recent West Point dropouts who spoke on the condition of anonymity, one cited disenchantment with Army life and the other said Iraq was a major factor in his decision.
"I didn't want to be deployed in a war I didn't believe in," he said.


22 November 2004

The Greatest job ever?

77 Year-Old Oversees Park's Baseball Fields

STEVE VIED..Associated Press
Hawesville, KY. Sometimes Ray Keown still wonders whether he could have made it in the big leagues. It's been a long time, decades in fact, since Keown could fire a baseball across the plate so hard that hitters had a hard time getting wood on the ball, much less a hit.
The day after Keown returned home from overseas duty with the Army more than 50 years ago, he pitched against a team from Knottsville and promptly struck out the first six batters he faced.
Then there was the time he pitched against the Owensboro Oilers in an exhibition game at Miller Field.
"I had a good day and shut 'em out," Keown said. "A day or two later, they were knocking on my door. They offered me $150 a month. I refused. I'd been overseas for 30 months and just got home."
That wasn't Keown's only shot at playing professional baseball.
"I went to a Reds tryout, and they offered me $150 a month and a winter job, but they wouldn't say where," Keown said.
He turned the Reds down.
"My only regret is, I've always wondered if I could have made it," Keown said.
Keown is 77 now, long since retired from a Hancock County aluminum mill, hard of hearing and slow of pace. He spent nearly two months in the hospital this year recovering from a heart ailment. A half century ago, he toured Germany as a pitcher on an Army baseball team and didn't give up the game until he was in his 30s with a family and a full-time job.
Today, just walking across the outfield isn't an easy thing for Keown. But physical limitations have not stopped him from doing what he enjoys the most, taking loving care of the baseball diamonds at Vastwood Park near Hawesville. He has spent some part of just about every day there since the park opened in the summer of 1976.
"I'm a baseball man, and I've always been interested in baseball," Keown said on a chilly, overcast day in early November at the sprawling park off U.S. 60. "I coached Little League and Babe Ruth a lot of years, and I worked with pitchers a lot. I've still got a pitching mound at my house, and I still work with kids."
As he looked at the lush infield of the Little League diamond, Keown noted that it needed mowing one more time this year. Twenty-eight years ago, no mowing was required on any of the fields at Vastwood. The infields and outfields were bare dirt.
Vastwood Park opened July 4, 1976. It started at 100 acres and has since more than tripled in size to 340 rolling acres. It has become the county's pride and joy with its swimming and fishing lake, ball diamonds, walking trail, campground, playground, beach house, tennis courts and soccer fields.
Much of the credit for the condition of the baseball fields goes to Keown, who took it upon himself decades ago to keep them in top shape. He's an expert at lining up volunteer help and prepares the fields for games. He's even built a half-dozen squirrel feeders to boost the number of the critters in the park.
"The Little League field was sodded all in one night, all by volunteer workers," he said. "Same for the high school and Babe Ruth fields."
Hancock County Judge-Executive Jack McCaslin has a high opinion of Keown. In 1999 the Fiscal Court dedicated the Little League field to Keown, and the plaque is mounted a few feet from where Keown watches the games from his lawn chair in front of the red press box.
"We have a lot of volunteers but we don't have another Ray Keown who is here day in and day out," McCaslin said. "He is a pusher to get other people involved. Ray has been a blessing for us."
Keown is modest about his role.
"If I needed help, it would be there," Keown says. "All I do now is sight-see. I'm enjoying it and letting younger people take over."

21 November 2004

Want some fries with that?

Yeah... we eat real healthy here in America

1,420 Caloric Heart Attack on a Bun

MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 10:09 a.m. ET Nov. 17, 2004
As many fast-food chains introduce healthier fare amid fears of being sued, Hardee’s is bucking the trend, serving up a megaburger with 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat.
St. Louis-based Hardee’s Food Systems Inc. Monday rolled out its Monster Thickburger — two one-third-pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun. The sandwich alone sells for $5.49 or $7.09 with a medium fries (520 calories) and soda (about 400 calories).
McDonald’s Corp., Wendy’s International Inc. and other fast-food giants have broadened their offerings of salad and other lower-calorie fare amid concerns the industry could be held legally liable for America’s obesity epidemic.
Hardee's offers no such concessions, although the chain is not completely oblivious to dietary trends, offering at least three "low-carb" items including a low-carb Thickburger.
In an interview on CNBC, Hardee's chief executive Andrew Puzder was unapologetic, saying the company's latest sandwich is "not a burger for tree-huggers."
"This is a burger for young hungry guys who want a really big, delicious, juicy, decadent burger," he said. "I hope our competitors keep promoting those healthy products, and we will keep promoting our big, juicy delicious burgers."
Health-safety activist Michael Jacobson denounced the new Hardee's concoction.
"They would argue they are just giving people what they want. I would say this is beyond the pale," said Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Probably no nutritionist ever imagined that a product like this would be marketed."
Jacobson pointed out that one Monster Thickburger contains twice the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat, and nearly a full day's worth of sodium. Even before the new Monster Thickburger, the chain offered five sandwiches with 1,000 calories or more, and eight overall that have more calories than what was once the big-burger standard — McDonald’s 600-calorie Big Mac.
"If Hardee's persists in marketing this junk, it should at least list calories right up on the menu board," Jacobson said.
While fast-food diets have been blamed for an epidemic of obesity and heart disease, last year a federal judge in New York dismissed two class-action suits blaming McDonald’s for making people fat.
“Maybe this is a smart strategy because there are still folks out there who care about the taste and size of their sandwich, and less about their weight,” said Jerry McVety, president of the restaurant consulting firm McVety & Associates in Farmington Hills, Mich.

20 November 2004

ladies & gentlemen...

...please put your hands together
and give a very warm welcome
..................................... . for the lovely...
and talented:
Penny Lee!!


19 November 2004

Freedom means more opium for everyone!

Opium production surging in Afghanistan

KABUL - "Afghanistan's opium production is approaching record levels. A new United Nations report says drug production has shot up more than 60% in the past year.
The hardline Taliban regime, which ruled Afghanistan until 2001, greatly reduced opium poppy cultivation. However, under the rule of the new democratically elected president, Hamid Karzai, opium production is approaching record highs, with poppies now being grown in all of Afghanistan's 32 provinces.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that opium cultivation has increased by 64 per cent in the last year alone. The current crop is valued at $2.8 billion US, an amount equal to more than 60 per cent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product.
Afghanistan is now the leading producer of opium in the world, providing three quarters of all global supplies.
UN officials say fears are high that the country will degenerate into a "narco-state" and have voiced concerns of the strong links between drugs and terrorism.
President Karzai has said fighting drugs is his top priority for the next five years."

Think about this. I mean, REALLY think about this news item. Those "horrible Taliban terrorists" had pretty much halted ALL opium production by threatening (and yes, killing) the poppy-growers, traffickers and those politicians who took kickback money. Now, under Karzai - a former UNOCAL bigwig capitalist, Afgani opium production is back on track and flowing in record amounts. Don't get me wrong, the Taliban were certainly a problem...but since the US invaded and "effectively" wiped them out, why was the resurgence in opium production under our watch tolerated by our "moral" and "freedom-seeking" leaders? Was this an intentional component of the U.S. gift of "freedom & democracy" in Afghanistan all along?

18 November 2004

Watch a band start a song over because of digital (cell phone) interference

Wilco Video on the Radio

Wilco plays a GREAT set on LA radio, (w/ an "ok" interview in middle) despite it being 11-something a.m. in a radio-station studio fraught with technical problems.
Even if you don't particularily care for this type of music, Wilco is absolutely phenomenal here. Outstanding musicians to say the very least.
Don't give-up on the KCRW "video-production" --I use the term loosely-- as it does develop past "the bass-player show" of the first minute and a half.
My favorite Jeff Tweedy line: "Keep in mind folks that halfway through that song, our ears were bleeding." This after some sort of monitoring problems.
The cell-phone disturbance occurs during the last song.
And despite the hour, the problems and all the rest...they kick ass anyway.

17 November 2004

When you're in a hole, the first thing you might want to do, is stop digging

Video shows shooting of apparently unarmed, wounded Iraqi

Here is the REAL problem with this video.
Because of it, every resistance fighter, every single Iraqi citizen, now knows for a fact that the US isn't taking prisoners. Surrender means death, therefore there is no reason for the Iraqi people not to fight to the death. The US might be in the position now of having to exterminate a significant portion of the population to "win" this war; a war based on lies and deceptions to start with. (as Mike Rivero knows)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Officers are investigating the deaths of other Iraqis seen on the same videotape that depicted a Marine shooting an apparently wounded and unarmed insurgent in Falluja, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

16 November 2004


"War" (1874) ..............Artur Rimbaud

When a child, certain skies sharpened my vision:
all their characters were reflected in my face.
The Phenomena were roused.
At present, the eternal inflection of moments and the infinity of mathematics drives me through this world where I meet with every civil honor, respected by strange children and prodigious affections.
I dream of a War of right and of might, of unlooked-for logic.
It is as simple as a musical phrase.

15 November 2004

The big fat end of my patience

4 reasons not to watch Reality TV on Fox

The Swan
Translation? You’re an ugly woman; let our male plastic surgeons fix that. The Swan is yet another vehicle for inundating women with even more fascist beauty-dogma perpetrated by aging, repressed, fantasy-driven white males.
Love Cruise
"This is great TV...if you're a whore." - Love Cruise producer Kathy Wetherell, from Entertainment Weekly
My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss
A stiffly contrived exercise in chain yanking from the Rocket Science stable of executive producer Chris Cowan, whose other Fox efforts have included "Temptation Island," and "Joe Millionaire".
Trading Spouses
Do I really have to explain? This is just twisted and sick.
And as most of my friends know, don’t even get me started on American Idol. I'll never shut up.
I heard this one the other day:
"Oh, but reality shows deal with real life issues!"
Uhmm…No…they deal with completely bullshit issues that the viewer in turn compares to their own “real life issues” in a vain attempt to validate their own “real life" around what happens on fucking TV in order to make themselves feel better about being a total loser ass-stick with no life.

14 November 2004

from the "Sometimes, there IS justice!" Dept.

Pocket Orchestra

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to know that the music of Pocket Orchestra (formerly Knebnegauje) is finally being released some 20+ years after their fact.

Tim Lyons, Tim Parr, Bob Steerman, Craig Bork, Joe Halajan

Actually, it was 25 years ago when I happened to be over at their house on a warm summer evening in Phoenix, drinking beer and listening to them rehearse in lieu of an upcoming show (opening for Gong I think). My own band at that time, Cartoon, had just finished recording our first record that week and frankly, we were feely pretty cocky about ourselves. I still vividly remember to this day being so completely knocked out by how polished and amazing they sounded that night. Yeah, I’d heard them play live before many times, but sometimes they could reach this inexplicable “higher-level” and play their (very intricate and difficult) songs so effortlessly that it bordered on mystical. This particular night was one of those times, and I was just totally floored by how great they were. They pounded out a few cover-songs that they “needed to play” in order to fill the hour & a half set required: remarkable versions of “Rats & Monkeys” by Art Bears, King Crimson’s “Lark’s Tongue in Aspic Pt. 2”, (which was way better than any of the KC versions, I’ve always said) and the Samla song “Little Karin” from Schlagern’s Mystik. A few days later, they blew-away all the Gong fans who heard them. Since then, I’ve seen (and was fortunate to play with) some great avant-rock bands, and I still believe that Pocket Orchestra was right there among them all. In the following years through 1984, I saw them play a lot, especially after they relocated to the Bay Area, when they would play shows with Cartoon whenever possible.
I wish that Tim Parr (guitar) and Tim Lyons (bass) were still around to see this. I only can hope that Bob Steerman (drums) recovers from his recent health difficulties to appreciate and smile about this. I’m guessing that it might be bitter-sweet for Craig Bork, (keyboards) Joe Halajan, (clarinets, saxes) and Bill Johnston (cello). Today I feel privileged that I knew, learned, played and recorded with these guys. (The first Henry Cow, Samla, and Univers Zero records I ever heard were on Tim Parr’s turntable in high-school.) This is so long overdue. I’m buying one as soon as it is released, and it all makes me realize that I miss them a lot.

13 November 2004

Media Art

Aphorisms of
Jenny Holzer
Guggenheim Bio
You live the results of old plans.

What you fear overtakes you.

12 November 2004

from the "Let's Inflict Our Culture on Them" files

Yeah...that'll work.

Arafat Procession

11 November 2004

10 November 2004

Is it 1860 again?

Blue states buzz over secession
By Joseph Curl
THE WASHINGTON TIMES / November 9, 2004

Secession, which didn't work very well when it was tried once before, is suddenly red hot in the blue states. In certain precincts, anyway. One popular map circulating on the Internet shows the 19 blue states won by Sen. John Kerry conjoined with Canada to form the "United States of Canada." The 31 red states carried by Mr. Bush are depicted as a separate nation dubbed "Jesusland."

The idea isn't just a joke; one top Democrat says, "The segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don't pay for the federal government."
"Some would say, 'Oh, poor Alabama. It's cut off from the wealth infusion that it gets from New York and California,' " said Lawrence O'Donnell, a veteran Democratic insider and now senior political analyst at MSNBC. "But the more this political condition goes on at the presidential level of the red and blue states, the more you're testing the inclination of the blue states to say, 'So what?' "
Mr. O'Donnell raised the subject of secession on "The McLaughlin Group" during the weekend. "Ninety percent of the red states are welfare-client states of the federal government," said Mr. O'Donnell, who was an aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat.
In a telephone interview, Mr. O'Donnell said the red states that went to Mr. Bush "collect more from the federal government than they send in. New York and California, Connecticut -- the states that are blue are all the states that are paying for the bulk of everything this government does, from ... Social Security to everything else, and the people in those states don't like what this government is doing."
The Internet has exploded with talk of a blue-state confederacy, including one screed circulating by e-mail that features a map of a new country called "American Coastopia" and proposes lopping off the Northeast, the West Coast and the upper Midwest to form a new country, away from the "rednecks in Oklahoma" and the "homophobic knuckle-draggers in Wyoming."
"We were all going to move to various other countries, but then we thought -- why should we move?" the anonymous message asks. "We hold our noses as we fly over you. We are sickened by the way you treat people that are different from you. The rest of the world despises America, and we don't want to be lumped in with you anymore."
The secession movement has already spawned commercial opportunism. One Web site is selling T-shirts that read "I seceded."
No one at the White House would comment on the calls for secession, but one top Republican official with ties to the Bush administration said the recent talk is not surprising, coming off an election in which the president received more than 59 million votes -- the most in history.
"If we were that far out of the mainstream, maybe we'd be pushing the creation of our own country," the official said. "Then we might have a chance of ever winning an election again."
But Andy Nowicki, a libertarian blogger, said the blue states will never secede because "liberals don't want to leave their enemies alone. Instead, as their track record shows, they want to take over the government in order to force their enemies to endure perpetual sensitivity training for being such racist, sexist, homophobic, 'closed-minded' boors, i.e., for disagreeing with them."
The emergence of a solidly Republican South prompted longtime Democratic activist Bob Beckel to advocate Southern independence the morning after Election Day.
"I think now that slavery is taken care of, I'm for letting the South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy," Mr. Beckel said on the "Fox and Friends" program. While secession is often thought to be a Southern phenomenon, Northern leaders repeatedly threatened secession in the 19th century, in protest of such provocations as the War of 1812, as well as the admission of Louisiana and Texas to the Union. In 1803, Massachusetts Sen. Timothy Pickering proposed "a new confederacy," naming the New England states members along with New York ("the center of the confederacy").
In 1839, former President John Quincy Adams defended the right of secession in a speech in New York, saying, "Far better will it be ... to part in friendship with each other than to be held together by constraint."
But according to Slate.com -- another liberal Web site that has explored the topic of secession -- there are no provisions in U.S. law for a state or states to opt out of the Union, citing such authorities as Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School who say that since Appomattox "scholars have agreed that the Constitution grants no right of secession."
While legal scholars say states cannot leave the Union, nothing stops individuals. Before the 2000 election, actor Alec Baldwin was one of several Hollywood figures who threatened to leave the country if Mr. Bush was elected -- but didn't.
"Unfortunately, there were no such pronouncements this time around," said Martin Grove, a columnist for the Hollywood Reporter.com, "perhaps because the last time around, when push came to shove, all of these people decided maybe they were in the best place they could possibly be to begin with."

09 November 2004

Is this the best $70 CD ever made?


Well...yeah, if you ask me.

Though I do have a really great $65 "Late Beethoven String Quartets" as well.


Art Bears Box Set

available at ReRUSA

review here at Pitchfork Media

08 November 2004

from the "Let Me See if I Have This Straight" Dept.

"So, homelessness is now only supposed to be between one man and
one woman...did I get that right?"
-Tom Hood
Portland, OR

07 November 2004

Photography v.2

Susan Scott

The Road to Elysium

The artist and friend
(Turkey 2004)

Yet another internet voter-fraud take

Huge list of voter fraud links:

Voters Unite

...and no, I don't wander aimlessly throughout the streets in an aluminum-foil hat, muttering to myself .

06 November 2004

Avant Music News

Imperative New Music link:

check daily

05 November 2004

Photography v.1

An airline pilot's approach to downtime


04 November 2004

Pilgrim's progress

We Have Now Become The Nation Our Founders Escaped From

Garry Wills
Garry Wills, an adjunct professor of history at Northwestern University, is the author of "St. Augustine's Conversion."

The Endarkenment Of America
November 4, 2004
This election confirms the brilliance of Karl Rove as a political strategist. He calculated that the religious conservatives, if they could be turned out, would be the deciding factor. The success of the plan was registered not only in the presidential results but also in all 11 of the state votes to ban same-sex marriage. Mr. Rove understands what surveys have shown, that many more Americans believe in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin's theory of evolution.

This might be called Bryan's revenge for the Scopes trial of 1925, in which William Jennings Bryan's fundamentalist assault on the concept of evolution was discredited. Disillusionment with that decision led many evangelicals to withdraw from direct engagement in politics. But they came roaring back into the arena out of anger at other court decisions - on prayer in school, abortion, protection of the flag and, now, gay marriage. Mr. Rove felt that the appeal to this large bloc was worth getting President Bush to endorse a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage (though he had opposed it earlier).

The results bring to mind a visit the Dalai Lama made to Chicago not long ago. I was one of the people deputized to ask him questions on the stage at the Field Museum. He met with the interrogators beforehand and asked us to give him challenging questions, since he is too often greeted with deference or flattery.

The only one I could think of was: "If you could return to your country, what would you do to change it?" He said that he would disestablish his religion, since "America is the proper model." I later asked him if a pluralist society were possible without the Enlightenment. "Ah," he said. "That's the problem." He seemed to envy America its Enlightenment heritage.

Which raises the question: Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?

America, the first real democracy in history, was a product of Enlightenment values - critical intelligence, tolerance, respect for evidence, a regard for the secular sciences. Though the founders differed on many things, they shared these values of what was then modernity. They addressed "a candid world," as they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, out of "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." Respect for evidence seems not to pertain any more, when a poll taken just before the elections showed that 75 percent of Mr. Bush's supporters believe Iraq either worked closely with Al Qaeda or was directly involved in the attacks of 9/11.

The secular states of modern Europe do not understand the fundamentalism of the American electorate. It is not what they had experienced from this country in the past. In fact, we now resemble those nations less than we do our putative enemies.

Where else do we find fundamentalist zeal, a rage at secularity, religious intolerance, fear of and hatred for modernity? Not in France or Britain or Germany or Italy or Spain. We find it in the Muslim world, in Al Qaeda, in Saddam Hussein's Sunni loyalists. Americans wonder that the rest of the world thinks us so dangerous, so single-minded, so impervious to international appeals. They fear jihad, no matter whose zeal is being expressed.

It is often observed that enemies come to resemble each other. We torture the torturers, we call our God better than theirs - as one American general put it, in words that the president has not repudiated.

President Bush promised in 2000 that he would lead a humble country, be a uniter not a divider, that he would make conservatism compassionate. He did not need to make such false promises this time. He was re-elected precisely by being a divider, pitting the reddest aspects of the red states against the blue nearly half of the nation. In this, he is very far from Ronald Reagan, who was amiably and ecumenically pious. He could address more secular audiences, here and abroad, with real respect.

In his victory speech yesterday, President Bush indicated that he would "reach out to the whole nation," including those who voted for John Kerry. But even if he wanted to be more conciliatory now, the constituency to which he owes his victory is not a yielding one. He must give them what they want on things like judicial appointments. His helpers are also his keepers.

The moral zealots will, I predict, give some cause for dismay even to nonfundamentalist Republicans. Jihads are scary things. It is not too early to start yearning back toward the Enlightenment.

03 November 2004

Voice from the "right"

Rush "Pills" Limbaugh

"Big, big, big day. Look at all the losers: Bin Laden, George Soros, moveon.org, Hollywood, Old Europe, the United Nations, MTV, liberalism, the mainstream media, Dan Rather, Bruce Springsteen, and terrorists everywhere. The winner yesterday: America, the United States of America."

Don't forget the biggest winner: voter fraud ...which is as American as Apple Pie.
(like the 1876 election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden...there's a good one.)