How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fine essay

How to Turn Trump Fans? Show Them a Greek Tragedy -

"Tragedies reveal the horrible consequences of seeing things in black and white and so encourage us to discern shades of gray."

p.s. Some Sanders fanatics also suffer the blindness.

posted from Bloggeroid

Hippy idealism

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
A graying generation founded on peace of love finds its champion: Bernie Sanders


Well, what can I say? I won't. Maybe I'm wrong. (But I doubt it.)

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Like hell

They say money can't buy happiness. Then how come I feel so good after a windfall today? I don't recall ever feeling bad about getting money!

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Successful experiment

On a whim, added Grape Nuts to last batch of rye bread. A keeper!

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For me, with Trump, it's become a one issue election:

"Hillary Clinton has secured the endorsement of the political arm of the Natural Resources Defense Council - one of the nation's leading environmental organizations - in her White House bid, marking the first presidential endorsement in the 46-year-old group's history, The Chronicle has learned."

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Blah blah blah

What is political rhetoric any more but venting? What doe it accomplish except group masturbation? Well, I guess it can be fun.
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Monday, May 30, 2016


I think BS has a real shot. NJ should put HC across the finish line but a Calif victory should give BS supporters a lot of energy at the convention. Will Bernie walk or kiss ass? Can't wait to see.

Early on it seemed like the Republicans would have the zoo. Will be the Democrats.

I thought I'd die before the worst of impending disasters hit the fan. With Pres. Trump, not so sure.

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Quotation of the day

"I keep reading that Portland is one of the best places to live. They should say, one of the best places for white people to live," W Kamau Bell says.



What an irony Portland's white hip Sanders supporters don't see their own racial elitism. No wonder black people are fleeing the city.

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Crystal ball

Bitch of retirement is having fixed income, rising expenses, and unknown longevity. How do you plan for the future?

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Blame game

I can see it now: Trump defeats HC with considerable help from Bernie's boycotters. Disaster begins quickly when Trump's bullying personality makes HC look like a dove overseas. At home he creates jobs until climate change catches up with him, events making Katrina look like a sprinkle. Chaos accelerates, far beyond 1960s street conflicts, Trump so mishandles everything that the military stages a coup ... America gets its dictator at last. It's every man for himself. R.I.P.

Bernie's boycotters, however, stick to their values and insist HC would have been worse. Nothing changes the mind of the morally superior.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bruins upset Ducks

... in exciting 3 games in Eugene Super Regional. Off to WCWS where 4 of 8 teams from SEC. Pac 12 once ruled softball. No more.

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The best road team in baseball just lost 3 in a row at home to the worst team in baseball. Frustrating!

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Strange giddiness

Life is nothing if not unpredictable. I would have expected to be depressed about the removal of a road trip in our plans. I'm not. I expected to hate all retirement communities. I've only seen one and would move in tomorrow. Very surprising indeed.

I'm also surprised to be so comfortable with the end of my career. I'm not "done," strictly speaking, just done with projects of great ambition. No longer have energy for it. But I can do smaller things.

I always get nervous when I feel this good. From experience!

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Why I am voting against Trump

Because he doesn't believe in climate change. That's it. His decisions would be disastrous to human survival. This is not about politics. Nature doesn't do politics. So if it means voting for HC, so be it.

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Birthday flowers

Friends took Harriet out to dinner last night.

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Happy camper

Man, I feel good about my career and my last "serious" book, about our future, whatever we choose among 3 options -- stay here, sell and rent apt, sell and move into retirement community. I have plan for H in her 90s when she may have to downsize again for financial reasons (and I clued her kids in under assumption I'll be gone). In other words, she'll be ok if I go first.

I hope we live in hotel environment for 5 or 10 yrs. Place yesterday was spectacular in my book.

But i can live with just about anything.

Which is a dangerous thing to say.

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Damn, I feel good today. The plan for future has changed, but it's still a workable good plan. Exciting possibilities at hand. I hope we can agree on one.

Softball, cooking. Good weather coming, yard work.

Beginning to feel really RETIRED.

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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hey, Bernie!

While you yell about democracy, try to remember that HC has THREE MILLION more votes than you do ... and hey, a black southerner's vote is not to be dismissed as "early." Is it stupidity or senility that makes you yell absurd claims?

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A great irony

My last play ends with the words, from the Crow: You can't eat money.

Exactly!, I say.

So here I am, by default, our financial manager.

And Portland is too goddamn expensive to retire in. But I can't budge Harriet. If she stays, her 90s could get financially challenging. There are many places where she could be secure for life.

I am trying to set up security, for 20 yrs. Women in her family reach 100. Better safe than sorry.

But her pension won't last at present rate of expenditure. She should downsize, impossible here.

What to do? Not much fun.

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Shaky ground

H changed her opinion from one extreme to the other about 4 times last night about her living preferences. Of course, she didn't recall each earlier preference.

Maybe she'll get consistent in a year.

I been to the zoo.

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Headline of day

CNN show asks: Is Portland so 'hip' and 'cool,' it's now hopelessly gentrified?



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Friday, May 27, 2016

What progressives?

According to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll 20% of individuals who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary intend to vote for Donald Trump in November – twice what it was in the same poll in March.

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Mariners at home ...

... getting creamed by the worst team in baseball, with their best pitcher on the mound. Ah, me.

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Super Regionals, like the Sweet16 ... and #16 Georgia eliminated #1 Florida! ... love it.

Rooting for Washington now. UCLA v. Oregon tomorrow.

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Visited first community ... I could move in tomorrow! What? What?

Satisfies fantasy of old writer living in a hotel. Luxurious one at that. Alcoves with fireplaces for reading ... lots of opportunity for privacy or activities ... inhouse theater, daily movie at 2 and 6, excellent choices this week ... great food, lots of options ... stuff I need, like wifi, access to full kitchen (all meals included in rent) ... met a couple of likeable old guys. It's full ... so might take a while if we got on wait list ... so I dig it. H would like to be closer to downtown, this is in Happy Valley.

I did not expect this reaction. 1 down, 11 to go.

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Quotation of day, or the meaning of 80

"How can I be so tired when you did all the driving?"

--Harriet, arriving home yesterday

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Volvo: A State of Mind

NW Portland before gentrification, from Round Bend Press.
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The exploration begins

Lunch at and tour of a retirement community, the first of a dozen before July. Is any for us, or more accurately for Harriet? The answer determines what comes next.

My personal motivation for selling the house is gone, but Harriet can't live alone and we need to prepare for that. The longer we stay in our house, the more profit when we sell. Many variables. Many uncertainties. So we are collecting data.

I actually feel good, despite loss of the road trip. Knowledge is security. I know my limits. I've had 3 long road trips in my life, as a teen hitchhiking, summer during grad school with P, and summer with Harriet shortly after we moved in together. Well spread out. Now I'll watch trips on TV ha ha.

Despite changes, the first step is the same: house prep and downsizing. H has many decisions to make.

I'm good. I hope Harriet can learn to be as good.

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The grass is green

Right here.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016


Home! Why in hell leave this house?

First two hrs drive home was great, puttering, lunch in Willamina. The last leg a nightmare, horrendous Pdx traffic, back killing me, knees killing me. Home a delight!

Need to rethink everything.

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Ready to roll

Get packed, Harriet!

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The human touch

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
These animals relied on each other for 100 million years. Now climate change is killing them both.

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Still processing the shock that I'm older than I thought "on the road," and it ain't easy to pile up the miles. This doesn't mean I can't travel but it does limit my miles in a day, what with my back killing me. Harriet is worse than I am. So trips need to be realistic and a drive 3000 miles doesn't sound too realistic unless we took a month to do it ... which, of course, is possible.

Otherwise perfect here at the coast, a great room with a beautiful ocean view, but we're both a tad homesick ALREADY in the sense that we miss our homebound routine. Man, this is a surprise! Our energies are down enough to make the usual touristy exploration tiring, even a drag. Everything is different. And in a year, everything might be "older" than it is now, in fact it should be, likely will be. We ain't getting any younger.

So the adventure ahead, as planned, is more suitable for 70 than 80. I think maybe we blew it as far as road trips are concerned.

But that's not the end of the world. That just means find something more suitable. I can amuse myself doing nothing anywhere. It's Harriet I worry about.

So I will shrink the universe and focus on helping/urging/begging H to downsize, so we can put the house on the market in a year or later, whatever is appropriate. Many of my motivations for selling the house are now gone. Not hers, I suspect. In fact, if we see a community she likes, she may be ready to move into it as soon as we sell. I'll go with the flow.

I think Sketch definitely would like to be home. Routine!

Well. I am very very glad we did this because we surely learned things we need to know.


Leisurely drive home. I want to get in before rush hour traffic but, in fact, Pdx area traffic sucks around the day clock these days. The place has grown and keeps growing. I'd love to move but no way H will. If I outlive her, I'm gone ASAP.

H asleep, Sketch asleep, I'm at the window. That lovely constant ocean hum. Salt air. I've lived at the ocean in SoCal and could again.

I am surprised how deserted the beach is. But then, the kids are still in school and it's mid week. Good time to come.

Getting hungry. Wish folks would wake up. It's 9.

Some playwright chores when I get home, copies of new book should be there ... enter in a couple things, inscribe some books for special friends. I have some competitions to enter with the big three last plays, too. I'd really like to see a production of one before I pass. A long shot but possible. They are first rate. Which actually means nothing in the real world of theater politics and how things get done. Unless you find a director with a passion for a particular script. I've had that happen. Then nothing stops them.

Sooo ... my life ain't one day at a time, it's one hour at a time!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Old old old

Man, did we learn a ton on a little visit to the coast! Wasn't even our intention.

1. Our ambitious driving days are over. About 3 hrs in car is our limit. Back pain, etc. 3000 miles across country? Forget it.

2. Home trumps vacationing. Travel not as appealing when you get easily tired and just want to sit. Home is more convenient.

So this changes everything. We blew it. Should gave done a road trip much before 80.

All plans on hold until our tours in June. Still getting house ready to sell. Then ...?????????

A little shocked, a lot disappointed.

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Across the room

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One Thing Even The Good Men Don't See -

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Old man

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No: young ideologues are not flexible

Can Elizabeth Warren unite a divided Democratic party to stop Trump?

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Plans, oops

Hmm driving across country may be more than we can handle, esp in a year. Borderline now.

First revision. Sell house. Move downtown. Take smaller trips in west. H flies east to see relatives.

We are aging FAST. Esp H, who is wiped out from 3 hrs of shopping. And just driving to coast wiped me out. Bodies much older than minds.

Man, we don't know where we'll be in a year! Maybe dead.
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So here I am with an ocean view, listening to the Angels-Rangers game on my MLB app, working on the AlphaSmart on the serendipity memoir, for my own amusement, mellow after a fantastic breakfast at a place called Wild Flower, enjoying a break from the normal routine ... and Harriet off shopping at a bargain mall, what else?, buying clothes when she has tons she hasn't worn in years but won't get rid off, ah the mystery of women!

Sketch is mellowing out, too, after a period of adjustment.

No word from the doc regarding my liver, so I assume it is nothing urgent. I'll probably get a new pill. I swear, before I pass, I am going off all my pills! Clear my system, die a natural man.

The Mariners won a dramatic game last night, at home where they suck, a HR in the bottom of the 9th, which keeps them in first place. Quite an amazing season so far. They have the best road record in baseball but can't win at home.

Rooting for Angels since the Rangers are in 2nd, a game and a half behind the Mariners.

Friday is our first visit to a retirement community. A dozen scheduled through June! We'll surely learn something or other by then. And adjust plans accordingly if necessary.

The MLB app is incredible. EVERY game, no blackouts, with either home or visiting announcers, all for less than ten buck a year. Best app bargain around. Includes spring and post besides. TV option is more expensive, considerably, but I prefer radio anyway. Grew up on radio baseball.

What a nice response on my memoir from an old friend and artist. He totally "got it." So did Terry at Round Bend Press. Great when that happens. I'm sure it happens more often than I learn, which makes it especially nice when someone takes the time and trouble to tell me.

Wild game ... Texas just took 6-4 lead in only third inning. Be a long one.

Long abandoned beach here in Lincoln City, at Sailor Jack's, our traditional stop on the coast.
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Kentucky recount

Sanders could sweep and HC would still be nominated, so this is either an act of futility, driven by pride and arrogance, or part of a future walk-out strategy. Which? No idea.

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Who is the audience?

Writing usually begins outside-in. The writer aims to communicate with a particular audience "out there." I call this commercial writing, and there was a time when I supported myself doing it.

But writing also can begin inside-out. The writer aims not to communicate but to make sense of personal experience, perhaps wrestling with demons. Artistic writing.

Any writer can do both approaches at the same time on different projects, but it takes a very good writer to embrace both in the same work.

The audience for artistic writing is the serious reader who reads for more than entertainment. The serious writer makes a leap of faith that such readers exist. Sometimes they can be hard to find.

It's a blessing, therefore, to hear from one, as I did recently about my short memoir:

"Have read Quilt 3 times. As memoirs go, have never seen its like: an elegant encapsulation of the interlaced pursuits of art and life. One could not do without the other."


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

End of day

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Harriet and Sketch

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Man, some very sweet things could happen to me in the near future. I have nothing to do with the outcome. But some first rate work is available for decision makers to reward, should their tastes match mine. Would make an old man feel good if it happened.

If not? Life goes on.

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Med tests

Failed two. Waiting to hear what this means. Not stressed about it. On too good a streak of blessings to be stressed about anything. What happens happens.

I can see results online before doc interprets them for me.

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A bit of insomnia. Should crash again and listen to BBC, which is superior to American media.

Think I passed the tests. No big C today. Excellent.

Doc had great suggestion, strategy, for getting H to downsize. Gonna do it! Doc thought our plans were good. She also thinks I'll outlive H, which is interesting.

Back to bed ...

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Monday, May 23, 2016

It's over, Bernie

Why in hell would Hillary debate you in California? Go Green, or get off the pot.

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At doc, lots of tests. To be continued.

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Good old days

Edward R. Murrow 'Would Have Skewered' Donald Trump, Media Critic Says -

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Waiting room

Here I am. Don't expect bsd news. Only have half the symtoms of stomach cancer.

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The Plan ...

... Is for Harriet's benefit. If I outlive her, I am moving as quickly as I can manage it, toward sun and warmth. Depending on health and finances, anything from a studio apt in the southwest to buying a used van and living in it. But I don't expect to outlive her.

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UCLA v. Oregon

Sat. and Sun., 2 out of 3, super regionals. Oregon favored. I win either way but will root for Bruins.

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Mariners looking good

"After a 2015 season as disappointing as any in recent memory, the Seattle Mariners have exceeded middling expectations through the first quarter of their 2016 campaign.

With Thursday's 7-2 win over the Orioles in Baltimore, they improved to 18-9 in their last 27 games and clung to their precarious lead over the Texas Rangers in the American League West. They also handed the Orioles their first home series loss of the season and improved their road record to an AL-best 15-7."

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Is this the day?

I'm long overdue for a curve ball from the gods. Now that I feel good about our plans, a new health issue could change them, which makes today's doc appointment about a new pain a tad stressful. We'll see.

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Good luck

Portland's black residents putting faith in 'Soul District' to counter gentrification

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Softball super regionals

... put Oregon v. UCLA, or my MFA v. my BA. Can't wait.

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My sanity

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Sunday morning

Listening to Mariners, watching softball, baking bread. A routine I want to hang on to for as long as possible. Easily done downtown. But at the next stop?

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The older I get, the less I believe in democracy. Democracy depends too much on an educated, wise citizenry, and majority rules too easily ignore the needs of the minority.

I believe in individual freedom with responsibility.

I would like to see a form of benevolent dictatorship with optional levels of social and political participation: short term contracts that define how one participates in society.

A poet contract, for example, would provide the option of a minimum livable govenment-provided income. No taxes, no voting, no wealth, no responsibilities.

A "worker" option would be close to the present with opportunities for greater luxury. However, there would be a maximum allowable income. There also would be a minimum allowance for everyone.

People could change their options contract to contract.

In other words, choose your lifestyle, and make meditation-driven activity and dropping out perfectly respectable.

The goals are freedom and flexibility ... with greed limited by law.

Not in a million years!

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The new RBP book really feels like my last MAJOR work. I'll still write ... in the blog, including poems, maybe an inconsequential book like the serendipity memoir, maybe even a short story. But the Big Stuff, serious plays and novels, feel done. That well is dry. And no regrets.

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Plans are a security blanket, and I feel good about ours now. I also feel good about the many possible variations. I think I have a handle on most of them.

I'm hoping for the best case scanario, of course. First things first, and sell the house next spring. But even if something happens, though I can't see what, and we stay here, no problem. I like this house.

But I expect to sell in Spring 2017, hit the road, and some months later return to rent downtown. Meantime we'll have selected the retirement community for later.

The toughest year is now. H has many decisions to make about possessions. Onward.
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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Round Bend Press announces my new book

This is a Rocky Marciano ending, not a Joe Louis one.
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Lynne Fuqua sings

Looking good

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Full load

Listening to Mariners, watching softball. This is great.

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Proof good

RBP proof from Amazon arrived, perfect. Should be available soon.

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My new play is timely

Young People Suing Their Government Over Climate Change Just Won Another Big Case -

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Dark side

Supporting Bernie Sanders Does Not Excuse Misogyny -

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Insider info

Pentagon Official Once Told Morley Safer That Reporters Who Believe the Government Are 'Stupid' -

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Doctors Without Borders Ditches A Humanitarian Summit, No Longer Has 'Any Hope' -

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I like having a plan. Good for my mental health.

But the first staggering challenge belongs to H. An hour a day for 6 or 8 mos. If there is no progress by mid summer, I am changing the rules.

After we sell the house, downhill.

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Oregon softball

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It's clear to me that Harriet can no longer live alone. I think she is beginning to get it. Hence looking at retirement communities where independent living can transition to assisted living.

Alone, I would not do this but I am trying to make decisions in her best interests. If by chance I outlive her, I am moving as fast as I can wrap things up, probably to the southwest. The day I can't live alone is the day I leave the planet.

But for now, her needs trump mine. I'm fine with our plans of sell house, travel, live downtown, make final move.

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Softball world series ...

... has started. For college sports, relatively unsoiled. Go Pac 12.

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TS on a roll

Over at Counter Punch, TS looks at current politics with passionate outrage. If only BS could be so inspired.

However, Terry is more impressed with young white folks than I am. As soon as their student loans are paid off, I think they'll be upgrading their designer bikes before you can say, Have a craft beer on me!

I don't see a lot of poor non whites in the BS crowds. These folks will still be hurting when the other kids create a startup or apply to law school.

And Nature ain't giving any ideology a break!

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A new memoir?

18 Moments of Serendipity.

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To disapprove of Sanders vandals in Nevada is not to endorse Clinton. Many assholes can exist at once.

What is obvious to me is that the GE will be Clinton v. Trump. I think Clinton will win, driven by a female and non white enthusiasm. I also think she will win converts in the debates because she is good at it. Shortly after taking office, she will invade Syria, birthing a new viable peace movement. Violence in the streets creates a backlash, so that Clinton loses reelection to a Trump figure. Then the police state creates not a revolution but a civil war. By then climate change disasters have created millions of refugees, fueling protective right wing police states throughout the west. Somewhere along the way nukes get used. Elites start over in colonies on Mars. Earth belongs to the insects.

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Against the wind

Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump: 'Almost a death knell for the human species'

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Moments of serendipity

WHOLE CLOTH looks at the relationship between my experience and the stories I've told as a writer: "the personal roots of narrative."

There's a completely different way, with a tighter focus, to look at my career: how it was driven by chance encounters with individuals and events, "moments of serendipity." If I were to pursue this, and I might (my god, another book!), I'd look at such moments as ...

Lunch with my hero Linus Pauling, leading to the move to Berkeley.

The Army recruiter in Berkeley, putting me in the Army Security Agency.

Being in an outfit of academic humanists and meeting Dick Crooks.

After the Army, meeting unhappy tech writers at Burroughs Corp and deciding to return to college. Needing semester credits for UCLA, deciding to get them at Pasadena City College, where Bob Trevor and others encouraged me to be a literary scholar.

In grad school, a student in midwest beating me to my PhD thesis on Melville's Pierre.

Meeting Polly in grad school, her support in efforts to become writer.

Polly coming out as lesbian.

Arriving in Portland in late 1970s to exploding theater scene.

Crooks' wife getting me to apply for film job. Getting it, leading to first interest in screenwriting.

Support of my theater work by 3 directors and several critics in Portland and Seattle.

Commission to write hyperdrama. New obsession.

Decision to quit drinking, getting Mel as treatment counselor.

Meeting Harriet.

Commission to write hyperdrama for Santiago company. New overseas audience.

UNC librarian seeing my hypertext work on WWW, offering resources.

PSU invitation to start screenwriting program. Begin teaching there.

Rise of POD publishing, decision to return to fiction, non-collaborative work.

Connecting with TS at Round Bend Press.

... which is where I am today. Maybe this is all I have to write about it. Maybe not.
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

New tech

This Earpiece Translates Foreign Languages For You In Real Time -

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Unseen faces

Meet The Most Powerful Woman In Particle Physics -

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Old school

Steven Spielberg Bashes Virtual Reality At Cannes -

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Ta da!

Woman Up And Died Rather Than Vote For Trump Or Clinton, Obit Says -

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But BS would need moral integrity to do this

Joe Biden Calls On Bernie Sanders To Condemn Backers' Vicious Attacks -

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Low key

H gone most of day, I spent morning cheering another Ms victory over Orioles, baked bread, did some budget figuring. H quite excited about living downtown for a while (my guess would be 2 to 5 years ... by 85 she might want assisted living ... I'd be shocked if I'm alive in 5 years), maybe this will motivate her to downsize.

The world sucks but the home front looking better all the time.

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Stating the obvious

Hillary Clinton: 'There is no way I won’t be' Democratic nominee

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The week after he retired!

Morley Safer, longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, dies aged 84

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Great timing

It's the perfect time to reconnect with two wonderful nerds from my own nerd past. Come on, July.

See the doc Monday about some stomach pain. Probably cancer ha ha. I mean, good fortune has to end some time.

I'm good no matter what happens. I love this house, especially in summer. I love road trips. I'd love to live downtown. A facility, not so sure. Find out soon.

I love my last three books.

My life on the dying planet is good!

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June is our tour of ind living retirement. July we will tour downtown and waterfront apts in our budget, which provides a good choice according to Craigslist. Just checking out the possibilities.

August, house prep, full steam ahead!

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Options, options, options

1. Sell house in seller's market. Necessary first step. Depends on H getting her act together.
2. Put belongings in storage.
3. Put house money in bank.
4. Travel with budget of current income. Explore options, car v van etc. First stop H relatives on east coast while they are still alive.
5. Travel until tired of it. Return to Pdx.
6. One of two options, depending on health.
7. First option: still good health. Rent downtown or waterfront apt for a few years. Going out in style, still within current income. As health deteriorates, move into facility (look ahead, get on waiting list), and figure to die there.
8. Option two: health after road trip dictates immediate transition to facility. Draw on house money as needed.

So one or two moves, depending on health. New is downtown/waterfront living, probably two to five years, living the low end of the high hog.

Ideal: road trip to downtown/waterfront to facility.
Of course, nothing is certain. Either of us can die here at any moment!

But with a little luck, we can have great fun!

So ... how to get Harriet in gear?

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Looking forward to seeing one of my closest high school friends, a retired physicist now living on a boat in Florida, when he visits the northwest and Portland in July. Coming with him is one of the few women who took math/physics classes in high school, with whom he connected after the passing of his wife. Looking forward!

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The Age of Trump

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Such fun

I have no idea whether BS is a brilliant strategist or an arrogant old fart, but boy are his antics fun to watch!

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The disadvantages of self-righteousness

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Why the Sanders movement is just about dead
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Unless he goes green!

Ha ha!

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.

"Sanders's argument has been that he will woo superdelegates to his cause at the convention. On Monday, a superdelegate did indeed change his mind — moving from Sanders to Clinton."

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Back to reality

Nothing happens until we sell the house. And that doesn't happen until H goes through a ton of accumulated stuff. Which may never happen.

So maybe I will die here. Whatever.

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A grand plan, new sequence

Put everything in storage, get on wait list somewhere, rent travel van, head out until we tire of travel, then move into new home. Live on same income, let house money collect interest until we need it.

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Another alternative

The bottom line is, live with same income we use now, stash house money in bank. We actually could afford spendy apt downtown until we need assisted living. Advantages and disadvantages to all options, of course. Maybe I should add my old preference, put everything in storage and rent a mini RV until we tire of traveling. HEY I LIKE THIS!

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Spent morning copying relevant brochure pages and making packets for each of us of the 8 possible new homes we'll visit in next month. Will be interesting!

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What if Bernie ...?

Is the old man really stupid? Or pretty clever?

His only hope is to flip superdelegates. Then why in hell piss off the party in Nevada and all over?

Because he will leave the party! He is waiting to do it with the largest audience, on TV at the convention. He is laying groundwork to look "justified." Brilliant.

Would he go indie or green? The latter makes more sense. But can't be and should not be candidate.

This came to mind because it's hard to believe how stupid he is if he wants to woo superdelegates. Unless his arrogance is so huge he actually believes he IS wooing them.

Huge ego or brilliant strategy???????

posted from Bloggeroid


So at home the Mariners lose 3 straight games to the injured "inferior" Angels, then travel to Baltimore to face the "superior" Orioles ... and beat them 10-0!

It's why they play the game.

Still in first place. More fun than politics!
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Man, a lot of progressive folks spew a lot of anger at Clinton. On the other hand, I am more pissed at Sanders. Why? HC is a given. But BS is a great disappointment and lost opportunity. HC is the status quo, but BS can actually make things worse. But still better, if he goes green at the convention (I find this hard to believe).

All these political terms are relative. Many women consider her a progressive. And the Pentagon likes her as a friend.

Personally, in old age, I've dropped out and see as much arrogant self-serving nonsense on the left as on the right. If I root for anyone, it's for those around the world who try to alleviate suffering and level the playing field without regard to ideology. Doctors Without Borders. Certain foreign journalists. The Pope.

But I think planet Earth is doomed and the first to suffer will be those with nothing to do with it, already happening as islands sink.

For me, the only thinker who makes sense of our demise is Norman O. Brown. Introduced to me at UCLA in an Amer Intellectual History class in 1966. Everything since has reinforced this early infatuation. Brown comes from a long tradition. So there are no surprises here.

Mars, here we come! By the skin of our teeth ...

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Here's a question

What does our election have to do with the many millions of mostly non white climate refugees soon to be wandering the globe in search of new homes? If we were a moral force in the world, a lot. However ...

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Choosing the least evil

Here, in a nutshell, is the story of American politics. And so again: Clinton v. Trump.

Progressives are pissed. We should be. But real change will never happen in the two party system. Chris Hedges saw very early on that Sanders, in the end, is a betrayal, a lost opportunity, giving young folks false hope with total bullshit about how change happens, his phony revolution.

I've seen a lot of political change in my long life. You know how it happened? By assassination. I repeat, BY ASSASSINATION.
Voting, protest, nothing is as effective as murdering the right person. This also is the historical record.

So if you want change without becoming a murderer, what do you do? Well, many settle for the long haul of incremental change. I believed in that until the coup that murdered JFK.

Norman Brown argues that the game is rigged, power corrupts, there is no way out but to drop out. Become a poet. A zen priest. Silent meditation. Fuck politics.

Two things are dying, related but also separate. Capitalism and white power/privilege. The latter has infested the Sanders campaign more than noted. An angry feminist nailed it, referring to Sanders as old school 1930s sexist radical. (Even the Black Panthers were sexist.)

We approach a vicious, angry, maybe violent political election. Not much will change. Eventually the economy will improve and Americans will return to what we do best, which is shopping.

We are a new species. Homo consumerus. The young are the best consumers of all, by nature if not always means. Bicycles aren't cheap. Designer riding costumes aren't cheap.

Change in the world, if it happens, will be led by non white non Americans.

posted from Bloggeroid


So in Nevada Sanders backers throw chairs and become vandals because they feel cheated over two delegates, who made negligible impact on outcome. Sounds to me like outburst from spoiled white folks of privilege, used to getting their own way. If this foreshadows the convention - and Sanders took their side - the Trump fascists will celebrate.

I think the secret, real story of the primaries is about threatened white folks acting out their anger, left and right alike. The future does not belong to white people.

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Nailed it

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.

"It is no longer accurate to say Sanders is campaigning against Clinton, who has essentially locked up the nomination. The Vermont socialist is now running against the Democratic Party. And that’s excellent news for one Donald J. Trump."

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Kentucky, the dagger in the heart

I figured HC would be in great delegate shape if she could keep a loss here under 10%. She sneaks in with a win.

But Sanders is blind to reality. He will make the inevitable ugly. It's called ideological arrogance.

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Delegates needed by Clinton to get nomination if supers hold. If she can keep losses close tonight, should be under 100 for a slam dunk on June 7.

Prediction: many Sanders supporters will be obnoxiously poor losers.

posted from Bloggeroid


I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
On the anniversary of Brown v. Board, new evidence that U.S. schools are resegregating

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Alternative plan

Another possibility is to use the house money to set up two households. I can move to the warm southwest and welcome H whenever she wants to be there. Hmm.

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I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
50 years ago, Bob Dylan made history, and The Washington Post missed it.

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Ta da!

Money can't buy happiness? That's just wishful thinking

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With her boots on

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
World’s longest serving orchestra musician dies while performing

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Mad house

I go the whole hog when I go. In coming weeks, 8 appointments so far for free lunch and tour of retirement places. Attention seniors: good way to get free lunch! Will schedule 3 more tomorrow, who wrote me tonight.

There are a zillion of these places. Very competitive. More to report after we see a few. I'll take photos.

This definitely is beginning to feel like A CHANGE. 

RBP announces new book

Good mood

Feeling good about launching this transition, with full understanding of how tricky it will be. Some good timing and good luck would be welcome.

Everything about this is harder for H, I downsized my stuff a couple years ago, donating 50 some boxes to Vietnam Vets - books, videos, CDs, clothes, supplies, tools, etc. Now it's her time to get serious. She has our basement packed with stuff. Pack rat.

Hopefully this, getting serious, will light a fire under her. And a road trip, summer of 2017 on east coast, with her older relatives before they pass. A goal.

Well, here we go ... and no writing to distract me ...

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New home

Starting a year early in searching for a new home in a retirement community is necessary because waiting lists are common. So the timing for this can be tricky.

Checking out our first place next werk. In Happy Valley. Getting serious!

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Sunday, May 15, 2016


I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Reaching the age when age is a liability — especially for women

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Buttermilk rolls

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In an effort to light a fire under our butts, I'm going to start scheduling visits to retirement facilities offering independent living. A compromise plan is this. We sell the house. Many facilities are too spendy for us but some not. We move and live on same income we now use. We bank the considerable profit from house, using much of it for travel, a week trip here, month trip there. Maybe we are gone six months a year, starting ASAP, maybe next spring. So we live here but are gone a lot, the compromise.

We definitely should sell in this crazy seller's market.
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Anti-war videos

Yep: Q.E.D.

A Man Ripped Off A Muslim Woman's Hijab, Screamed 'This Is America!' -

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Great contest

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Ukraine wins 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

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Brave man

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Mark Lane, gadfly lawyer, author who promoted JFK conspiracy theory, dies at 89

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Getting it right

Naomi Klein criticises lack of global action on climate change after Sydney Peace prize win

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sneak preview

Have copy of new book, privately done before giving it to RBP. Looking good.
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... is what keeps me almost sane. Effort, clear result. Better than the uncertainties of the srts.

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Is old age ...

... remarkable or pathetic? Good damn question.

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Failing strengths

A strong bullpen and explosive offense are keeping the Mariners in first place. Both failed them against the Angels last night. Blowing a late 4 run lead, they still led by a run in the 9th - and gave up two. And four times they left the bases loaded without scoring.

OK, now back to their new normal ...

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Ear!y Katherine Dunn

Terry Simons remembers.

My KD anecdote regards a very funny one night stand, which I'll keep to myself.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Olive bread

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Eastern Oregon University

Article in paper regarding EOU's uncertain future. Too bad. I have very high regard for them.

In the 1990s early days of the World Wide Web I started teaching an online screenwriting class for Writers on the Net. Students wanted credit. I approached every college/university in Portland about giving credit for my class. No one was ready to embrace online classes.

I was disgusted. I was already doing it! I got a lead on EOU ... in less than a month I had a contract and started immediately! They were so far ahead of the curve.

Sad to learn they are fighting for their existence.
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Done in

A lot of morning yard work, before rain tomorrow.

Thank you note/email from former student. Good timing.

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How to make the arts matter

1. Present all art anonymously.

2. Determine all awards and grants by a lottery.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

R.I.P. Katherine Dunn
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I'm no fan of her best seller but believe her earlier novel TRUCK is a work of genius.

Home sweet home

Highlight here ... summer on the deck.

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1980s literati

A romantic view of 1980s NW Pdx regulars at Nobby's and Seafood Momma's, a literary clan, remembered by one of us in recent email:

"You have always been an inspiration to me, and many others as well.
You would definitely be our "Danny" if the famous or infamous
Nobby's literary gathering were Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat.
In many ways it was a rag-tag group of semi, stumble-bums
and many of us, including myself, seemed to be much fonder
of drinking than writing. All of which is understandable:  Drinking
is a whole lot of fun. Writing is a whole lot of hard work.
Oddly enough, we were a group of men with noble ideals
and we were not unlike the knights of the Round Table."

My, my! I will say this: when we were on together, I never laughed so hard. Many moments of great fun, great wit, great laughter. Back when NW was "the way Greenwich Village used to be," according to my agent.

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Shifting foundation

H's latest obsession, stay in our house as long as possible. Interesting. 180 from where she was. If we stay in Pdx, makes sense: mortgage goes down, value goes up. But I suggested this was an excuse not to deal with the basement! Let's pretend we sell in a year, downsize the house, then see where we are. She has to face her possessions: give to kids v sell v give to charity v discard v keep. And she's a pack rat, a huge chore to downsize.

I keep puttering.

Thinking about a clawhammer jazz style on ukulele. Possible?

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From The Slow Professor

In the corporate university, power is transferred from faculty to managers, economic justifications dominate, and the familiar “bottom line” eclipses pedagogical and intellectual concerns. Slow Professors advocate deliberation over acceleration. We need time to think, and so do our students. Time for reflection and open-ended inquiry is not a luxury but is crucial to what we do.

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Needed rebellion

Resisting The Corporate University: What It Means To Be A 'Slow Professor'

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

40% don't contribute, for shame: Pdx freeloaders!

Waterfront Blues Festival To Go To Ticketed System

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Closed primaries

Of course a political party should hold CLOSED primaries. It's a club. If I have an organization, say a theater group, and vote for president, I want only members to vote. Why should a stranger get to vote? It's absurd. A club is picking a leader, that's what a primary is. If you want to choose, join the club. Pretty simple.

posted from Bloggeroid


Day has barely begun, feel like going back to bed. Breakfast and banking are all I've done. Man. Second wind = yard work.

I think I'll die here, rate this is moving, which is barely. Should have sold out and hit the road years ago.

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"Don't shoot! I'm white!"

What progressives?

According to a poll, 40% white men voting for Sanders in WV would choose Trump over Clinton in election. Doesn't surprise me. Sanders hugely over-estimates progressive sentiment in America. He's setting up young enthusiasts for the fall.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Life In Old Age

my life in old age
is a life of puttering

I dabble at this
I dabble at that

my life in slow motion
until I take notice
and a year has passed

I wait for a bus
that is very late
and try to pretend
that waiting is fun

all this could be worse
so I keep silent
knowing better than
to piss off the gods

once upon a time
I was saner than this


posted from Bloggeroid

Another corporate obscenity

I thought you might like this story from The Washington Post.
Yosemite National Park, brought to you by Starbucks?

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The rise of militias: Patriot candidates are now getting elected in Oregon

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Tick tock

Five Pacific islands lost to rising seas as climate change hits

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Monday, May 9, 2016


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The older I get, the more appalled I am about the literary bankruptcy of American capitalist culture with its diabolic ability to turn everything into a commodity in the marketplace. What a fool I was to be blind to this when younger.
posted from Bloggeroid

Woody Guthrie on Portland, 1937

"Portland is a place where rich ones run away to settle down and grow flowers and shrubbery to hide them from the massacres they've caused. Portland is the rose garden town where the red, brown, blackshirt cops ride up and down to show you their finest horses and saddles and gunmetal. Mentally Portland is the deadest spot you ever walked through. She's a good 30 years behind Seattle"
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Trump's America

Flight Delayed After Woman Fears Professor Doing Math Is A Terrorist -

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Off and on ...

... through clouds, transit of Mercury live stream. Cosmic.

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From The Chronicle, Forgotten Hero

Donald W. Duncan, a Green Beret master sergeant who came home from Vietnam a disillusioned hero in 1965 and became a leading early opponent of U.S. involvement in a war he called illegal, barbaric and unwinnable, died in a small town in the Midwest seven years ago. He was 79. Mr. Duncan's daughters, Valerie Casey and Luise Wilson, confirmed last week that he died March 25, 2009, at a nursing home in Madison, Ind., an all-but-forgotten soldier. In an age of seeming information ubiquity, the news media will generally recall the lives of noteworthy people when they die. But Mr. Duncan had lived his last years in obscurity, and his death went largely unremarked upon in the wider world.
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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bday getaway

Just made reservations, little two day getaway for H #80, be nice.

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Sad state of politics

'I've been silent': Harvard's Clinton backers face life on a pro-Bernie campus


Peer pressure politics, which my dad considered a disgrace.

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Fresh start

Open week, hope to find rhythm to what I can do alone in basement.

11a.m. game. Won in 10th with Cano HR. What a way to start season.
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Saturday, May 7, 2016

New normal

Alberta wildfire explodes across forests: 'in no way is this fire under control'

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1959 Derby day

I hitch-hiked from Berkeley to Louisville, arrived on derby day. Broke. Stuck out thumb and headed west. 3 mos. later I joined the Army in Berkeley. This fact would cause 2 month delay in getting my Top Secret Codeword clearance when I arrived in Germany a year later, a Russian linguist.

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The advantage of "winning"

I really hope I "win" something mainstream soon, it's been a while, not to shine in glory but to be able to say things without being accused of sour grapes. It's so easy and convenient to dismiss "losers," like the whistleblower who got fired. Winning provides a podium. I want one.

posted from Bloggeroid

From The Nation, a woman on Sanders (Friedman)

There were all those little tells. Pooh-poohing Planned Parenthood and NARAL as “establishment”when he didn’t get their endorsement. Arguing for parental leave because it allows a new mother “to stay home and bond with her baby”instead of as something that benefits fathers as well, and something that women need in order to work and advance on the job. Doubling down on the idiotic quip by his surrogate, Killer Mike (“A uterus doesn’t qualify you to be president of the United States”), with the pseudo-lofty pledge “No one has ever heard me say, ‘Hey guys, let’s stand together, vote for a man.’I would never do that, never have.”

Is there a word for someone whose entitlement is so vast, so deep, so historically embedded, and so unconscious it includes the belief that they got where they are by a resolute devotion to fair play? It’s not reassuring that his senior campaign staff, like his long-time political inner circle, is almost entirely white and male. In a long campaign, everyone says unfortunate things. But these and other remarks suggest that when it comes to gender, he just doesn’t feel the burn. The problem is less that Bernie focuses on class and economic inequality than that he doesn’t seem to understand that the economy, like society generally, is structured by gender and race. Equal pay is great, but if women and men are funneled into different kinds of work by race and gender, with men’s jobs valued more because men are valued more, and if women are hobbled economically by doing most of the domestic labor and having to contend with prejudice against working mothers to boot, equal pay alone doesn’t solve the problem.

It would have been great if Bernie had given a major speech about his plans to make women’s lives better—safer, fairer, less dominated by men. Instead, he gives every sign of believing that his basic program—a $15 minimum wage, free public college, breaking up the big banks, single-payer health insurance—is quite enough. Those are all great and important goals—in fact, the $15 minimum wage will benefit more women than men. But they do not speak directly to the rage and fed-upness that so many women, in every class, justly feel.

Bernie showed a similar blindness to the specific harms of racism, but, thanks largely to Black Lives Matter, has moved a little further toward integrating race into his analysis.

At 74, you are who you are. Bernie is a traditional class-based leftist for whom feminism is a distraction.
posted from Bloggeroid

## The last line nails it.

Friday, May 6, 2016


Fresh iced coffee ... Maybe go out to dinner, shuffle bills ... Did get back mowed! Caught up, more or less, but already close to starting over. Grows like crazy.

Portland is nice when the sun is out. I need sun.

H home early ...

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Ridiculous how little energy I have. Saving up strength to refresh my coffee.

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Need to mow back section, be caught up for a week. After I digest breakfast.

No progress, none, on getting house/basement ready to sell. Need to get very serious over the summer. Not sure if H will be a help or a hassle. Probably both.

Should I leave Portland after we sell? The big question. It would be alone. Maybe have two households? Could we afford it?

Man, ideally, I'd like to be in a sunny small town, quit all my meds, and let Nature take its course. Probably live to be a hundred ha ha. I no longer trust medicine. I'm a corporate guinea pig. Tired of it.

posted from Bloggeroid