How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Al Gore rips the GOP: We’re the only country in the world where a major party denies climate change:

posted from Bloggeroid

Paella casserole

posted from Bloggeroid

Major changes going on with me. I spent hours yesterday in my basement office, the house cleaner upstairs, with a perfect time to write on Titanic. I didn't even open the file. It's not that I don't like the concept -- it could be my best work. But so what? I have lost the faith that literature matters in my culture. It's been perverted into a marketplace commodity. The age of literature is over, says Philip Roth, and he is right. A new sensibility, a new kind of mental focus, has been born, against brooding, reflection, all things slow. Opinion now matters more than knowledge. Everyone thinks they are free. What a perverse joke. We have created a society of consumer slaves, who need "likes" on Facebook to justify themselves. Sick sick sick.

In this environment, why write? A major theme in Titanic!! Which is why I may yet finish it, once winter comes and there's not much else to do. We shall see, we shall see. It is indeed a great concept. So what?

What interests me most now, the activity, is cooking. I get off on cooking ... as now, paella in the oven. Gerry Mulligan playing. As happy as possible for me, I think.

And Harriet is getting a sense of humor about her old age! She made a great joke about it going out the door today. Hopeful sign she can turn her whining feeling sorry for herself mode around.

If I were young today, 20s or 30s, I would leave the country. Where I'd like to go has weather that would be hard for me: Iceland, Nova Scotia, Scandanavia. Not sure where I'd end up. Maybe live in a van and be a vagabond here. Also, I'd have to make a living.

Man, have I been lucky in that department! I've mostly been able to survive as an artist, with grants, with projects, with teaching, with help from others. Remarkable because I am sure I could not do this today. Far fewer opportunities. Again, a major factor in my blessed life is being born before Pearl Harbor, being a teenager at the birth of rock and roll, being too young for Korea, a Cold War vet by Vietnam, becoming a literary writer at a time of good grant support, getting a commission for hyperdrama that would put me far ahead of the curve, resulting in now being "in the canon" of first generation hypertext, an obscure honor far, far better than nothing, believe me ... and actually, after I pass, I think some grad student somewhere is going to discover my novels, which I consider high on my list of accomplishments. 3 or 4 are worth lasting, and SODOM, GOMORRAH & JONES captures America's dilemma today, by my lights. Blah blah blah. Ha ha ha.
See why I quit writing?

I hope Harriet gets her shit together. Day to day stuff would be much more fun if she wasn't feeling sorry for herself all the time. Her friends and family don't see that. She is a proud lady with skill at showing a front. I don't benefit from the charade.

Her joke on herself today was great! More moroe more! Man, if you can't laugh at old age, you are in deep shit.
posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, September 28, 2015

Buttermilk rolls

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"Education" marches on

South Dakota no longer requires kids to learn about the Constitution, Native Americans, or slavery:

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Teaching was my dream job, until I discovered the reality

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More coming?

Nasa scientists find evidence of flowing water on Mars

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Paul Weitz

Weitz has directed some mainstream movies I'm not particularly fond of ... so GRANDMA, which he wrote and directed, surprised me, especially when he set up - and turned down! - a feel-good Hollywood ending, staying true to the character instead. Not a Hollywood hero but an existential hero. Consequently I greatly admire this film. And his art here.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Geena Davis: ‘After Thelma & Louise, people said things would improve for women in film. They didn’t’

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Gaia Vince: humans have caused untold damage to the planet

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Go, coach!


We saw this today. Best film I've seen in ages.

posted from Bloggeroid

Pundits! Jeez ...


UCLA got its offensive groove back. Defense still gives up too many points.

Oregon collapsed, murdered at home by Utah. UCLA-Utah in November might be a biggie.

I suspect many surprises are ahead.

posted from Bloggeroid


Portland rents are climbing rapidly. SF has an even worse problem. Rents drive many to move:

"Sick of the housing prices? Nobody's required to live here, and poet Anne Leonard recently packed up for Nashville. She gave up her unit in a North Beach single-room-occupancy hotel, which cost $1,600 a month for a room and access to a communal bathroom and kitchen. "I have a beautiful, amazing one-bedroom with an incredible view that goes for about 50 miles into the hills," she said. "It's $585 a month.""

Another reason to stay in our house!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Buttermilk rolls

posted from Bloggeroid

Song of the Old Bones

I'm an old fart
my race is run
I had some glory
had some fun
If you remember
what I've done
don't forget
to tell someone

posted from Bloggeroid

Moving slow

... the cold that never quite arrives.

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Secret Teacher: brilliant eccentrics are a dying breed in education

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Austerity is Smokescreen for Class War Against Poor, Says Yanis Varoufakis:

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Morning beauty

Whole wheat ...

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Back door

Chicago Cubs clinch playoff berth after Oakland beats San Francisco; first time back in playoffs since 2008 - @chicagotribune

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Astrid Ensslin adds Deemer hyperdrama to canon

No bullshit

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Boehner resigning: 'It appears that even a very conservative speaker like John Boehner is unable to control the extreme right-wing drift of Republicans in the House. This is a party whose ideology is way out of touch with the American people. Without Boehner, it may get even worse' - @SenSanders

posted from Bloggeroid


Economist: Tax Havens Are Turning The U.S. Into An Unequal Aristocracy -

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Collected works

W.H. Auden, Complete:

Several years ago, not one person in my class, including English majors and graduate students, had ever read Auden. Only one knew who he is. SHOCKING!

I had the honor of spending several hours with him in mid 1960s, when he came to campus to read at Pasadena City College. I was student on his welcoming committee. He drank many martinis ... and gave a flawless reading.
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Dorothy Day

What You Should Know About the "Great American" Dorothy Day Honored by Pope Francis:
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How about BEFORE the Internet?

What are your memories from the internet's bygone days?

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My recent lack of energy, and to a major degree, is puzzling. I feel a bit under the weather, a cold not quite ready to arrive, and this may be it; or it may be a new stage in old age. Whatever it is, I am dragging through the day and baking bread or biscuits, or grilling, is about all the activity I can manage during the day. I dabble on other things ... just about have June Apple down on banjor, for example.

Harriet, too, talks about lack of energy but she takes it harder than I am. She is having a very hard time accepting being "old." I actually like being old, more or less. I love the lack of deadlines and responsibility! I like the richness of long brooding and contemplation and meditation. But I don't like aches and pains, which in mild forms are constant, and I don't like dragging around at this new increased level.

But I never forget how blessed my life has been and remains. One of the lucky ones!

Getting periodic maintenance on our heater, hope it doesn't cost too much. Very tight budget, always. But we're hanging in. We can't afford trips whenever we want that is what a reverse mortgage was going to finance but that's fine by me. H misses it more.

Noise from the basment! A vacuum, I think ... he's cleaning the furnace.

Mariners playing better ball since All Star game than in first half of season. They may get to .500 yet.

Big UCLA game against Arizona this weekend. Loving college football this season.
posted from Bloggeroid

Hear, hear!

How PowerPoint is killing critical thought

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Hanging in

What Now For The Injury-Plauged UCLA Football Team? - Go Joe ...:

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Native Americans Decry Sainthood For California's Iconic Missionary -

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One of a kind

The quotable Yogi Berra: the 20 most memorable Yogi-isms

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And the Republicans?

Bernie Sanders Really Likes What Pope Francis Is All About -

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Straight ahead

Pope Francis calls for climate change action in White House speech

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R.I.P. Yogi Berra

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Hear, hear!

Helen Mirren Wishes She Told People To 'F*** Off' More -

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Climate Change Could Cost The World Trillions More Than We Thought -

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Baking part two

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Baking part one

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The employed homeless

From the morning Chronicle:

Peebles is part of a growing segment of homeless people who have full-time jobs but can't make ends meet. In the past decade, as tech jobs have boomed in Silicon Valley, so has rent. Average monthly rents for a one-bedroom apartment are $2,186 in San Jose, $2,469 in Oakland and $3,361 in San Francisco, according to research firm Real Answers. Salaries for tech shuttle drivers start at around $2,900 a month - making even modest nearby apartments unaffordable. Instead of moving somewhere cheaper on the outskirts of the Bay Area - hours from their jobs - Peebles and several other tech bus drivers live in their cars.

posted from Bloggeroid

Fat City

I'm celebrating the reissue of Leonard Gardner's classic short novel, set against small town boxing, a masterpiece. As is the film based on it. Get it. See it. Rare.
posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Somehow UCLA escapes 24-23

But reality hits home. The hype is, duh, hype.

The coach, however, is pleased how they hung in against so much adversity, including two red zone interceptions. He has young Rosen's back.

It's a long season.
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Nerd nation upsets #6 Trojans!


UCLA having a tough game.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, September 18, 2015

Broadening the base

AUDIO: Self-Described Evangelical to U.S. Christians: Jesus Would Vote for Bernie Sanders:

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Brazil’s Supreme Court Bans Corporate Contributions to Political Campaigns and Parties:

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Swedish business tries out a six-hour working day — and finds an increase in productivity:

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Roast beef gravy

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Thursday, September 17, 2015


Great cartoon!


James Blake's mother says 'there's no end to racism' in America

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A rainy afternoon

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I want that seat

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The candidates I would love to see

Sanders v. Fiorina. Both articulate, coming from opposite ends of political spectrum. I think it would be close.

If it's Bush-Clinton, give up on the political system to change from within.

posted from Bloggeroid

Appalling - and, alas, typical today

Arrest of Muslim Teen for Bringing Clock to School 'Inevitable Byproduct of Culture of Fear':

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Grim possibilities

Hitler’s world may not be so far away

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Biscuits and gravy

Maybe the best of my life this morning. Used left over pot roast broth as gravy base ... MAN!!!!

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Sad Senator Morse

The key to democracy is an educated citizenry, he said many times. He must be rolling over in his grave.

The story of Wayne Morse
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Testing theory

Schrödinger's microbe: physicists plan to put living organism in two places at once

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Fear distorts

14-Year-Old Arrested After Bringing Homemade Clock To School -

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Bread after sunrise

Rye in the hopper.

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Lack of substance

When Palin appeared on the scene, I thought we'd reached rock bottom for the stupidity of American politics. Wrong. Donald Trump. It feels surreal, a nightmare ... this is really happening? We've created a shallow citizenry in love with glib fantasies of America. It's a disgrace to our heritage.

Who can you blame but education, to let these non-thinking souls out the door? Kids are not born this shallow.
posted from Bloggeroid

Whose seat?

If I vacate this end of the couch for a second, guess who claims it?

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Today's goal

With part A of June Apple down, begin to learn B. And pick up the ukulele. Decide on a practice routine.

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Part 2, non-cookie cutter "Grandma's" biscuits

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Biscuits before sunrise

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Etc etc etc

Tuna and mackerel populations worldwide down a ‘catastrophic’ 74 percent: report:

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Indeed - sure not the 1960s!

Political correctness on college campuses is a real problem:

posted from Bloggeroid


I grill chicken for H primarily, and I finally found the recipe she really likes, a version of a Korean marinade, cola, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, long slow high humidity grilling. A keeper.

I prefer almost anything to chicken.

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All in a day's work

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The future

What Megablazes Tell Us About The Fiery Future Of Climate Change -

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With rain in forecast, grilling a bunch today to eat through week.

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Wild goose chase

My main heart doc overruled concerns of another and all remains the same.

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With each visit to a doctor, I wonder if this is when the conflict begins. Because one day it will: s/he will want to extent my life at the cost of less quality and I won't give knee jerk agreement. A natural death interests me more than a longer life. I just hope circumstances work in my favor.

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You got that right

Buzz Aldrin: We better start thinking about colonising Mars

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday night

Decided not to grill in rain, make dinner in the oven.

Pretty mellow day. I like mellow days.

H off to meeting tonight, I'll banjo and maybe watch a little football.

Doc appt tomorrow ... my heart doc wants to change something. Not sure why. I worry about these guys keeping alive too long1 Seriously. Time to let Nature takes its course.

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Wednesday is the one year anniversary of Harriet's cardiac arrest and three minutes of death. We made it! Onward.

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Progress in America

Sarah Palin > Donald Trump > ???

I can hardly wait.


Seattle City Council takes side of striking teachers, declaring this 'Seattle Educators Week.' - @GrahamKIRO7

ESPN 3 replay

Great option! Watched BYU comeback victory ... UCLA's next opponent. Be a good test.

Almost time for grilling prep. But it's raining. Hmm.

Professor shot in office

Delta State University confirms 1 fatality in campus shooting; campus remains under lockdown - @DeltaState

The perils of teaching today.

The front lines

I Am French, the Daughter of Immigrants, and I Am Ashamed -

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Another epic debut

Tennessee Titans rookie Marcus Mariota, in his first start, has throw 4 touchdowns. He is the only player in the history of the league to throw 4+ TD passes in the first half of his first game. The Titans lead the Bucs 42-7 in the 3rd quarter. - @NFLonFOX

Computer projections

Remember the computer that put the Mariners in the WS this season? It's at it again, putting UCLA in the 4 team playoff. Ha ha ha ha.


Norwegian Billionaire Pledges 5,000 Free Nights In His Hotels For Refugees -

Sports in America

2 University of Utah football players are recovering from gun shot wounds sustained Saturday night - @SInow


H acts as if old age is a tragedy; I act as if it's a comedy and a surprise. Hence, possibilities for conflict.


Great quality control in bread now ... not quite there with biscuits but each batch closer.

It sure is ... much ugliness ahead


Whole wheat in the oven, white in the hopper, rye in line. After the bread comes out, biscuits!

No football today ... NFL doesn't interest me.

Is there a profession with more jerks than sports talk radio? Maleness at its worst: ignorant, arrogant, intolerant.

Learned A part of June Apple. A music day.

A chores day, the fight against blackberries.

A grilling day. Not sure what. H likes chicken, too often for me.

Cooking is my salvation.


Won easily, beat the spread - but I'm not impressed. Ragged offense, untested defense.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ismael Reed

Great letter in new Nation magazine:

"In his review of Paul Beatty’s novel The Sellout [“Shelf Life,” August 17/24], Jesse McCarthy includes me among a group of writers in “perpetual search of an audience.” Just because most of my books and theater have been ignored by the New York media—including The Nation , which hasn’t reviewed a book of mine since the early 1980s—doesn’t mean that I lack a wide audience."

Reed continues to document incredible international success. American literary culture wears blinders.

Good moment

The mailman delivered a package today. Sketch greeted him, and the mailman said. "Skitch, isn't it? I had this route when he was a puppy."

13 years ago! Cool.


Wide open receiver, winning score ... let's overthrow him. Good summary of game.


since I don't play the lottery
and I haven't sued anybody

don't have a fantasy football team
and don't rob banks

I'm not getting an inheritance
and always get passed over for a genius grant

it's safe to say
I'll be as broke tomorrow
as I am today

but not so broke
I can't enjoy myself
baking bread and biscuits

and starting the day
with the best iced coffee
in the entire universe

posted from Bloggeroid



WATCH: Cornel West gives rousing introduction for Bernie Sanders at historically black college:


Serena Williams congratulates Flavia Pennetta on US Open title: 'I'm so happy you won. You deserved it. I am also happy for the rest of your life's journey. I will miss your smile' - @serenawilliams

Not in America

Protestors Flock To Streets In Europe To Show Support For Migrants -


Flavia Pennetta, who won just US Open final, announces she is retiring from tennis during post-match interview

From the ridiculous to the sublime

Photo: Oregon Ducks to debut 'Combat Duck' uniforms for game against Michigan State Spartans - @CBSSportsCFB

Almost enough to get me to root for the Spartans.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Hear, hear!

Congratulations To Serena Williams On An Absolutely Historic Run -

Sign it!

California state Senate approves right-to-die legislation; unclear if Gov. Jerry Brown will sign - @AP [

Serena's quest

Two Weeks in New York

Selective history

The stories Americans tell about 9/11 leave out discrimination against Muslims

Solidarity, strong parental backing

Important essay on the dying university

Why We Should Fear University, Inc.

"Having spent a life in the academy, I now find myself in the increasingly common position of having one foot out and one foot in. I have finished my Ph.D., and I have no long-term job. I am an instructor but not a professor; I am on campus but not of it, an itinerant visitor. In this standing I join countless thousands of others whose contracts don’t extend past the next semester. Meanwhile, a new generation of students has become acclimated to the experience of college as luxury resort hotel, one they will pay for in student loans for the rest of their lives. Every day, there are fewer who remember what campus once was, or would want to fight for it. The colleges themselves, motivated by only the desire to please their alumni and their boards by advancing in the relentless competition up the rankings, cannot conceive of a world beyond the viewbook."

Epic upset, the story

Serena Williams’s grand slam dream ended by Roberta Vinci’s shock win

Go, Ducks!

Big game on road, underdogs. Saturday eve.

Vinci upsets Serena!

Amazing match. 33, unranked, soft game, old school one-handed, passionate. Very impressive.
posted from Bloggeroid

The lost counterculture

The Russia I Miss


Awoke with more energy than I've had ... how long can I keep it?


Robert Reich: Americans obsess over the sex lives of strangers while CEOs rob the country blind:


The Kim Davis ordeal reveals a frightening truth about a desperate, radicalized Christian right:


Thursday, September 10, 2015

In America

I've experienced a new level of racism since Donald Trump went after Latinos


Has tanked recently. A new phase of old age?



the older I get
the more sense it makes
to describe old age
with just one word:


Seattle #3

Ranking 2015's biggest Major League Baseball busts

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

In America

A College Degree Is Increasingly Likely To Land You In Low-Wage Work -

Something constructive

Tiny step

California Assembly approves right-to-die legislation; bill goes to state Senate, which has passed similar measure - @LANow

And now ...


Played a little banjo but couldn't get into it. Not sure why. Music making days over? Well, comes in cycles, I think. We'll see.

No energy again. I last from very early a.m. until noonish.

When in Boise ...

... don't miss:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Exhausted but still mellow... no music today, likely, but good writing on project instead ... and doing grilling prep. Just can't do as much in a day.

Compliments on my book of poems from my dying poet friend. He even put some to memory.

H struggling with less energy ... I accept it better than she at the moment.

Poetry in America

White poet used Chinese pen name to gain entry into Best American Poetry


Very productive morning ... but my energy has tanked. Don't seem to have fuel for a whole day in my old age.

In America

Navajo Woman Trucks Water 75 Miles A Day To People On Parched Reservation -

The talk without a walk

Whether Jewish Refugees in the ’30s or Syrians Today, the U.S. Falls Short of Own Ideals (Video):

posted from Bloggeroid

No holds barred

Took long enough

Italy's Top Court Slams Amanda Knox's Murder Conviction -


Made progress on the AlphaSmart ... that leaves music, which I'll do after H wakes up.

2 slices of toast

Sitting here enjoying my iced coffee with a slice of carraway rye toast and a slice of olive bread toast, thinking, Damn, I make great bread! A blessed morning.

Already have my banking chores done, catching up after the long weekend. Today is musuc day! Establish a routine for each instrument.

Then writing. A new bold idea to add to the mix! Time has not been wasted.

Feeling good.

Monday, September 7, 2015


Everything's relative

So slow and zonked today it was a major accomplishment to cut my fingernails.

Lost legacy 2

The Bloody Origin Of Labor Day -

Hear hear

Hear hear

Near future

Failure to act on climate change means an even bigger refugee crisis

Euro press railroaded her

Amanda Knox acquitted because of 'stunning flaws' in investigation

Beat this

As I was putting a spoonful of wet scrambled eggs on a corner of olive bread toast, I was thinking, Nobody in town can beat this. I make the best breakfast right here at home.

Lost Legacy an appreciation of the Wobblies.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


The Internet's Founder Never Thought It Would Get This Bad -

Pac 12

Not a good opening weekend. 2 ranked teams lost, will drop. But UCLA and Cal may throw a few surprises down the road.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


... won easily but gave up 42 pts.

LA Times

Begins its lead sports story this way:

"When is hype not really hype?

When it’s the truth.

It looks like Josh Rosen wasn’t hyped."

Here comes the pressure ...

Clone this

Really good day. Wish I could string a few together.

posted from Bloggeroid

Headline of the day

Josh Rosen passes for 351 yards, 3 TDs in stellar debut as No. 13 UCLA beats Virginia 34-16

Josh Rosen

Taken out, middle of 4th, victory secure. 28/35, 350 yds, 3 TD. Impressive, esp his accuracy. He can thread the needle.


My paella rolls are damn good ... not as good as Boise but a keeper. Very labor intensive.

Paella rolls


First thoughts at 17-9 halftime lead ... freshman QB Rosen looks great! Defense needs work.

Portland State beats Wash St!

A great 24-17 victory for the hometown Big Sky team. Scored all their points in second half.

Paella ...

... in the oven ... step one for paella rolls. My interpretation of basque item in Boise. An experiment.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sports in America: too much of this today, widespread (incl UCLA)

5 Rutgers football players arrested Thursday in connection to home invasions and assaults have been dismissed from sports program - @KevinPXavier, @NicoleAuerbach

Alas, no

Tic toc

America’s Birds Flying Into Climate Danger Zone:


Video: Germans at Munich railway station applauding refugees arrival - @jennyhillBBC


New Democratic Party in Canada present plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by end of the year and 9,000 each year after that for next 4 years - @shaaminiwhy


No focus or discipline since end of road trip. Cooking is only thing keeping me grounded. Time to return to pre-trip rhythms.

But today is football, starting in less than an hour, Navy and Stanford games, later Portland State at Wash St, noonish the biggie, Va at UCLA ... if I have energy after that, an Oregon game.

Somewhere this weekend, try an idea for paella rolls. Had them in Boise, thinking about them ever since.

Friday, September 4, 2015


I use a mini Weber with only two if us.

I prefer lump coal briquettes, started in a chimney.

I create a grilling environment with direct heat, indirect heat, and high humidity.

Turkey legs tonight. Later vegies. Oiled, seasoned for a few hrs before grilling.

A chunk of hickory wood for smoke flavoring.

Wouldn't it be nice


Conservatives twist logic to portray Kim Davis as ‘Judeo-Christian martyr’ — like Rosa Parks and MLK:

$he i$ going yo make ton$$$$$$$

Kentucky County Clerk Jailed for Refusing to Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses:

Know the feeling

Pennsylvania teacher fired for bashing students in blog posts cannot sue: court:


Olive bread

Football radio app

Broke it in last night, works great as expected. Like MLB app, can listen to home or visiting broadcast. Virtually all games available.

America today

The number of Americans living on less than $2 a day is skyrocketing:


Bernie Sanders’ popularity continues to soar — despite a conspicuous mainstream media bias against him:


Baking olive bread, biscuits later, trying to crawl back into the zoo's approximation of sanity.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

I been to the zoo

Major crisis this afternoon ... compromises the football I was looking forward to ... "It's always something," my buddy Dick used to say.

posted from Bloggeroid

3 days, 3 games

Mich at Utah tonight ... Wash at Boise St tomorrow ... Va at UCLA Saturday ... we begin in earnest!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Thanks to Industrial Pollution, 90 Percent of Seabirds Have Plastic in Guts:

posted from Bloggeroid


Donald Trump Is the Favorite to Win the Republican Primary:

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Polls Show Bernie Sanders Winning the Democratic Nomination. It's Time for America to Notice. -

Right on

Frank Stella: 'If you get into art to make money, you're deluded'

Political milestones in America

Photo: Jeb Bush applauded after saying 'I love Mexican food' in Spanish during speech at Miami school - @JuliaNBC6

So here I am ...

... in a coffeehouse in Tigard, while the car gets a lube and oil change. That's it ha ha.