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?