Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Cailleach's Time

The Cailleach arrived last night. The Hag of Winter made her presence know around 8:30pm. We were lounging by the firepit, comfortable in shirtsleeves and sweats, sorting out the problems of the world with a nice fire. A benign warm-ish breeze blowing. Around 8:20 the breeze fell off like someone had thrown a switch. A minute later, a new breeze, this one from the opposite direction, and bitter cold. It picked up to the point where our flags were fluttering flat-out and we found ourselves huddling close to the fire just to keep from freezing.

The Hag holds sway now, and will do so until Feb 2, when a small female figure will emerge from inside the hollow hills to engage The Cailleach in a desperate battle.

Friday, December 16, 2011

RIP Hitchens

I found the man smarmy and infuriating when he was wrong (e.g., Iraq), and could be almost as smarmy and  infuriating when he was right (which was often). But damn it all, the man could write

RIP Hitchens.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Long Slump

…Under the best of conditions, we will endure a Long Slump. If we respond incorrectly, as we have been, the Long Slump will last even longer, and the parallel with the Depression will take on a tragic new dimension…
– Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Goodbye, Jobs

I remember when Steve Jobs took all his Apple $$ and poured it into a little thing called Pixar. "Rich man's folly," I grumbled. Years later, he generated a boatload of buzz over something with the ridiculous name of iPod. "Stupid glorified MP3 player," I harrumped. Then the iPhone: "Christ, people, it's a goddamn CELL PHONE!" Finally, the iPad - "Dude, everyone's tried to launch a tablet. All have failed. You're different how?" A life well-lived, and cut short too soon. RIP, Jobs. (typed on my MacBook Pro ...)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday morning haiku

Grey, dawn a ways off
Hens bounce up, down for breakfast
"BOK!" they insist. "BOK!"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Labor Day

When I was a kid, my grandma put my hand on her head, under her hair, and I felt the lumps and scars. "The fookin' goons cracked my skull lotsa times," she said. And that's how I learned how my grandma stood with her sisters and helped organize the ILGWU. When that old "look for the union label" commercial came on, she would stand and sing along, hand over heart like she was singing the National Anthem.

Happy Labor Day, grandma. And a shout-out of solidarity to all those who labor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Just finished reading "South: the story of Shackleton's 1914-1917 Expedition" on Kindle.

An amazing read, and a humbling one. A matter-of-fact description of the kind of heroism, loyalty and determination that we moderns, with our addiction to pointless luxury and gawking inactivity, can not even imagine, let alone hope to emulate. When did hardship become a horror to escape rather than a challenge to accept and overcome?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Genetics account for up to half of intelligence differences

Genetic differences between people account for up to half of the variation in intelligence, according to a University of Edinburgh study of more than 3,000 individuals.

Intelligence Tests Highlight Importance of Genetic Differences

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"There is no longer a West .."

"The word "West" used to have a meaning. It described common goals and values, the dignity of democracy and justice over tyranny and despotism. Now it seems to be a thing of the past. There is no longer a West ..."

Once upon a time in the West

Race riot in Milwaukee

Back in a simpler time we called them "race riots." Not sure what we call them now; "unruly youths," I suppose. Our language has become riddled with cowardice.

"Witnesses' accounts claim everything from dozens to hundreds of young black people beating white people as they left State Fair Thursday night."

Witnesses describe mobs, some people claim racially-charged attacks

Friday, August 5, 2011

What the slave wants

“The true desire of the slave is not freedom, but rather that he and his slave master exchange places.” -- Franz Fanon

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where have these guys BEEN all my life???

By all the gods, this shook me to my roots. This should be it, the last song ever, the one you play as you sit in your favorite chair with a smoldering Cuban in one hand and a whiskey in the other hand ... waiting for the medicine to take its final hold.

Blood Axis, Vortex

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No, not one jot!

"Where will these millions of to-day be in a hundred years? Will not at least a result be left which those of a hundred years hence may be the better for? No, not one jot! There will not be any sum or outcome or result of this ceaseless labour and movement; it vanishes in the moment that it is done, and in a hundred years nothing will be there ... for nothing is there now." - Richard Jefferies

A nearly complete capitulation ...

"... a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists. It will hurt programs for the middle class and poor, and hinder an economic recovery."​/01/opinion/to-escape-chaos-a-​terrible-debt-deal.html?_r=2