Tuesday, December 29, 2009


After a week off work I no longer feel sick and exhausted. I just feel really, really tired. This is progress.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Kwanzaa


I missed solstice and it's two days into Kwanzaa, but I don't want to let it pass unremarked. A couple of people have told me recently that Kwanzaa was "just made up". I hate to break it to you kids, so was every other holiday. I can see nothing but good coming from the values and principles of Kwanzaa. You can learn more about them here and here.

Damn, I hope that didn't come across as patronizing, seriously.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Life is funny


San Francisco City Hall, all lit up for Christmas

Let's save our cynicism for better times. A very Merry Christmas to all

Mele Kalikimaka- Asylum Street Spankers (Buy)

Here's a Christmas elf, San Fran style.

Both pictures were stolen from this fine photographer.

Christmas Lights


My friend, Andrew, took this picture of me last week. I won't be driving for Christmas and this, hopefully, has been my last Christmas season at the wheel. I've worked many Christmases. It will be sweet to gather 'round the uketide Elvis tree. Some sadists from the friends o' Bill volunteered to sponsor a 4AM Christmas meeting, so I will be practicing the secret handshake at an unnatural hour, but I intend to go back to sleep shortly afterwards. Here's a few suggestions for those of you who are going out caroling.

From the City of Lakes, where ice surfing has yet to catch on, Minnesota's greatest surf band sends Santa a Christmas wish.

Real Live Doll- The Trashmen (Buy)

From Brooklyn, the borough where hepness reigns, Binky Griptite wishes us a soulful Christmas.

Stoned Soul Christmas- Binky Griptite (Buy)

Some of you are facing a seriously sucky Christmas without job, money or prospects. I've been homeless for Christmas and it sucked. Still, if you are free and not in a war zone you're having a better Christmas than some. John Prine shares a Christmas message from a man in thrall.

Christmas In Prison- John Prine (Buy)

And finally, from Bloomington, Indiana, the city where every Christmas is merry, The Walking Ruins wish you a Happy Hardcore New Year.

Happy Hardcore New Year- The Walking Ruins (Buy)

Go be merry.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday adventures


This image was swiped from the unspeakably cool Invisible Edge

I go away for a few days and when I come back I find out that people have been reading this thing. I've been running around in the three dimensional world.

First, I am in the first week of the seven week pre-retirement vacation. I also just got notice that the large orange bridge, highway and transportation district has approved my paperwork and I am now recognized as a mildly disabled proletarian hero and Stakhnovist of the first order. Just yesterday I was a bum who never bothered to show up for work. It is a damn good thing that I am a recognized gimp because my car is starting to act like it wants money. My car has never wanted a small amount of money. I do not have a large amount of money. My car might be the cause of some terrible health problems before I finally manage to retire. It is good to be able to take off work with only a mild amount of anxiety over job loss.

I am still more than a little sleep deprived. The old timers who have departed for the other shore (retirement) send back messages. One of them told me that it takes about two weeks to realize how tired you really are and another two months to get caught up on your sleep. Yesterday, I got up at an ungodly hour to take a bus to SF a train to Oakland a bus to the island city of Alameda, a cab to South Berkeley a car to Ashby Avenue in Berkeley, a train back to SF and rides in various cars around SF. I tried to fit in a ferry but the scheduling wouldn't work out.

Along the way, I visited my dad in his new assisted living community. It was a nice enough place. The old man was sitting there, unshaved and wearing a dirty sweatshirt. He was sitting at a table with another old gent, quite talkative and 92 years old. Also at the table was a woman who didn't say a word for many minutes. Then she stood up and announced, "It's OK. I'm 95 years old." She grabbed her walker and wandered off. Dad is only 84, but he doesn't seem particularly happy about it. For much of the visit he sat silent and stared into the middle distance. Then he'd get a little smile on his face and say something to me, then he'd go back into his little world. Pretty much the way he's always been, only more so. I'd have to say it was a successful visit.

Then I made a mad dash across Alameda and Oakland to the Berkeley home of Peter Hurney and Pohaku Ukuleles. Peter has just finished several ukuleles. I wanted to try out the new concert sized instruments. I'm looking to buy myself a retirement present. If you've come here from a google search I'd be happy to give you a review of any of the ukuleles that I played. They were all beautifully made and sounded great, but my big, big favorite was a concert sized resonator. First of all, I like the resonator sound. Second I like the sheer "gizmoness" of resonator instruments. The little concert sized resonator was LOUD as hell and pretty as anything. A visit with Peter is a real treat because his ukes are the coolest, but Peter is a cool guy himself. He really likes what he does and can talk about it with great eloquence. He showed me a bunch of nifty graphs explaining the tonal qualities of various woods. He has also just finished putting up an exhibit on California ukulele and guitar makers. He did it in conjunction with the Oakland Museum. The exhibit is on display at the Oakland airport terminal. You can read about it here.

I'll end it there for now. I'm too tired to be writing even though yesterday didn't end until after two AM. The trouble is that today's mad dash started at seven AM.

Here's a favorite Christmas song. Other than the title, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with Christmas.

Archie, the Red Nose Reindeer- Tappa, or if you like, Tapper Zukie (buy)

And remember kids, the axial tilt and the eliptical orbit are the reason for the season.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Let's put the X back in Xmas


Bob Dylan sings a Christmas song that doesn't make me wanna puke. Not bad for a Jewish guy. Speaking of which, Happy Hanukkah to all.

I can't say enough good about the selection of Christmas songs at Big Rock Candy Mountain. I'm just crazy about the world weary sound of Behind the Wheel For Christmas by the Saddle Tramps. "Dashin' through the snow with 40 tons of hay/ Gotta feed some hungry reindeer at a strip mall in LA."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Xmas


Jesus at the last supper- As reenacted on the planet Whammo.

People got nothin' better to do than complain about holidays? It's time to remind each other that we're not doing it right. Does Christmas, as we know it in these straitened times, blow? Well, fuck yes, but it's probably the best we can do- for the moment anyhow.

In the meantime I find myself buried under culture war alerts. Raging Xtians claim that they are under attack as the "Holiday" marketing scheme seems to be beating out the "Christmas" marketing scheme in the hearts of bean counters down at corporate headquarters. Truly, when even the marketing experts have lost faith in Jesus as an indicator of consumption patterns our nation, indeed our world, is doomed, doomed.

Across town at socially sanctioned beatnik world headquarters, pagan fanatics and pious areligionists point out the fact that there were solstice festivals of light that predate the alleged birth of Christ. Besides which what were shepherds doing out tending those flocks anyway, what with lambing coming up around New Years and all? Christmas it seems is not only ahistorical it's also a total rip off from the beautiful pagan tradition of worshipping trees and sacrificing children to statues.

Somewhere in the middle "normal" people like to point out that Christmas is dreary. I've got to say that it is California cold as hell where I live. It's nowhere near say, Minnesota cold, but in Minnesota people have insulated houses and central heat. Here in Cali when it's twenty nine degrees outside it's about forty in your living room. I'm rapidly running out of propane while my inadequate furnace competes with my uninsulated walls. Outside it's foggy and gloomy and they're predicting a week of cold ass rain. Dreary.

Well yes, it is indeed dreary and once again it is my Holiday duty to point out that gloom and drear are the reason for the fuckin' season. It's cold and dark out there. Put up some fucking lights. Eat some food. Drink if you like. Do it with friends and family. Stave off the coming darkness by spreading a little cheer.

Pesonally, as a Christian, I find the season a useful metaphor for considering the arrival of Christ in the world. That's why I put up the sparkly black Elvis tree, listen to the Christmas tunes and give a few cards and or parcels to select (usually young) loved ones. I like being with bunches of friends and eating rich food too. Not good for the diabetes, but good all the same.

If the Jesus thing doesn't work for you celebrate whatever of the many solstice based holidays you chose. Just try not to be a poot butt would you? Times are hard enough without anyone spreading miserabilism, OK?

Frosty The Snowman- Man Or Astroman (Buy)

For my brother across the waves, Comrade Ib and for anyone seeking religious salvation, consider a trip to Whiskey Heaven.

Whiskey Heaven- Fats Domino (Buy)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thought for the day


Eugene V. Debs is visited in the Federal Penitentiary by his running mate, Seymour Stedman. From the Indiana State Library's photo collection

Obama is not a socialist. I am a socialist.

Christmas With The Devil


Devil Dick from The Devil's Music blog asked me to help him to understand the Holy Modal Rounders. I promised him a couple of downloads and, finally, here they are. Technical difficulties don'tchaknow. Merry Christmas Devil Dick. I'll be putting up my sparkly, black Elvis tree in a week or two.

Half A MInd- Holy Modal Rounders (Buy)

Dame Fortune- Holy Modal Rounders (Buy)

Here's a special holiday bonus. I've heard some of the New Weird America bands. Mostly, they don't work for me. Drakkar Sauna from Lawrence, Kansas comes closest to capturing the Rounders feel.

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two Bush Administrations- Drakkar Sauna (Buy)

Christmas cheer.


A pack o' Luckies, a pint of Old Overholt and a pearl handled derringer for Christmas.

Big Rock Candy Mountain, an excellent music blog, will be posting tons of Christmas songs from now until December 25th.

I dislike Christmas music so intensely that I have become obsessed with finding bearable Christmas songs. What began as the Phil Spector Christmas album has expanded into an almost twenty four hour long playlist of Christmas tunes that don't drive me nuts. I'll try and post one occasionally. I suppose this means that I like Christmas music.

Christmas In Vietnam- Johnny and Jon (Buy)

C'mon Santa- Mach Bell and his Elves (Buy)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How I've been spending my time.

Trying to breath, very difficult, and convincing the large orange bridge that they shouldn't fire me because I am in the process of retiring. Worst comes to worst I will have to invoke my 'disabled' status (diabetes, asthma, PTSD) and start talking about lawsuits. I don't think it will come to that. All of this, especially the breathing part, makes it hard to get around to posting. My Doctor, Doctor Vacation, is on vacation, again. He has been on vacation for most of the time that my dubious health plan has assigned him as my doctor. Makes it hard to document that I am receiving ongoing treatment for long term medical problems. Actually, I am not receiving treatment. I am listening to recorded messages on a phone tree. This will all be over soon.

I had a terrific Thanksgiving with my oldest friend, Bob, and his family and friends. Lovely people and I hardly ever had to leave the room to spew snot.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Why I Sometimes Spend Time With My Family


In The Pride of the Marines John Garfield played a Marine Corps vet who returned home blind. Here he endures a heartbreaking Christmas tree tragedy. I can't help it. Every time I think of certain mishaps, I laugh. In addition to knocked over Christmas trees, I laugh at the thought of dropped wedding cakes.

My father is a Newfie. Born in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1926. In Newfoundland it snows eight months out of the year. When my father was born, most people on the island did not have electricity. If families were unable to put enough food by to last the winter they might very well starve. When my father was a babe in arms, his mother took him to Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in Brooklyn before Brooklyn became stylish. Long before Brooklyn became stylish. He was raised in a three room tenement apartment with no hot water, no bath tub and a communal toilet that was shared with the other apartments on the floor. My grandmother lived there until I was in my teens. My aunt, uncle and cousins lived downstairs. It was a very New York arrangement.

My grandfather was an alcoholic New York City Ironworker. He was one of the men who built the New York skyline, when he could get work. If he could get work he had a tendency to drink up his paycheck and leave his wife and six kids at home. My father's people were Ironworkers, Teamsters, maids, longshoremen and cooks. They were the salt of the earth, which is another way of saying they were poor.

In 1943 my father graduated from Boy's High and joined the Marines. He was sent to California and from there to the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands and war. He served with the First Marine Division and rose to the rank of Sergeant. It is probably for the best that he did not have to participate in any of the horrendous amphibious assaults, but he heard plenty of shots fired in anger and endured regular bombardments. Even though he was discharged from the Marines in 1946, my father stayed a Marine sergeant for the rest of his life. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi.

In 1949 my parents met and got married. The newspaper article announcing their wedding was headlined, "Miss McCarl to wed Marine sergeant.

One of my father's prized possesion was a book, "The Old Breed- A History of the First Marine Division in World War II". When I was a kid I was fascinated by that book. I spent untold hours studying the photographs and looking at drawings and paintings by Marine Corps artists. In addition to a detailed and very readable history of the First Marines the book served as a sort of high school yearbook of World War Two. Every Marine who won the Medal of Honor had his picture and a paragraph or two describing what he did to earn the US Military's highest honor. Most of them won the medal for falling on a Japanese hand grenade, absorbing the impact of it's explosion and saving the lives of his comrades. At the end of the book is fourteen pages of small type: a list of every member of the First Marines who died in World War Two.

As a boy, I was terribly proud of my father. He had a Globe and Anchor tattooed on his shoulder with the dates he served and the words "Semper Fidelis". Sometimes he would let me wear bits of his old uniform, his hat, or one of his campaign ribbons. When I played war I never played Army. I made my friends play Marines.

My father hung on to his copy of "The Old Breed". As an adult every time I went to visit my parents I would take it down from the shelf and look it over. When he moved to California this year, I looked around his new apartment and asked him if I could look at the book. When I put it back on the shelf I told him, "Look, Dad, you don't owe me anything. You did right by me and I'm grateful. I just hope someday that you'll pass that book on to me. When I was a kid, I was so proud of you. You were my hero. " He didn't say anything back.

A couple of weeks ago I was back visiting him. He mentioned something about his property and who would be getting what.

"Give it to Heather. She's a good daughter. You'd be dead without her. You know the only thing I want from you is that book."

He was quiet for a minute, then he said "Take it with you today."

I put my hand on his arm and told him, "That means a lot to me."

He looked away and said, "Means a lot to me too."

I am hurt and angry when my father continues not to recognize me; when he can't seem to hear me; when he fails to show the slightest curiosity about the man I've become. Still, I weep to see him old and frail. Like so many things in my life, he's not much, but he's all I've got.

Stars and Stripes Forever- Jake Shimabukuro (Buy)

Jake Shimabukuro is a Japanese-American. He is considered, along with James Hill, to be one of the two great masters of the ukulele. The ukulele in it's present form is a truly American instrument, like the Sousaphone and the banjo.

Old and In The Way


I rented two punk rock movies from Netflix. This is not a movie review. I don't remember the names of the movies.

The first one was a sort of biography, told in reminiscences, of Joe Strummer. It was pretty good. Joe Strummer wasn't necessarily a nice man. He wanted to be an artist and a star, sometimes one more than the other. He really did suffer for his art though. He wanted to have integrity. He wanted to be a creator. He was constantly looking for new ways to be Joe Strummer. It was kind of inspiring.

The second one was a biography of the Ramones. They were a hell of a band. Some of the performance footage is mind blowing. Also, there's a picture of my friend, Kim, talking to Joey Ramone in Arturo Vega's apartment. I liked that. The rest of the movie is old guys complaining. I found it depressing and dull.

Of course, nowadays I'd rather listen to The Handsome Family.

LInger, Let Me Linger- The Handsome Family (Buy)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why I Do Not Waste A Lot Of Time On My Family

I called up my father to try and explain my health problems and my decision to retire. He kept interrupting me to tell me that he was fine. Finally I managed to speak my piece.
My father: "So, you sound great. You feel great. That's all I need to know."

Me: "No, Dad, listen. I've been sick off and on for a year now. I've been having a lot of trouble with infections. I've been having real bad problems with asthma and I'm having trouble controlling my diabetes. That's what i've been trying to tell you."

My Father: "The doctor says I've been doing as well as can be expected for my age. I guess that's all you can hope for. I'm glad you're doing good too."

Me: No, Dad, listen. Like I said, I've already started the paperwork. I'm going to retire in April."

My Father: "OK, well, that sounds great. Did you figure out how to get over here yet?"

Me: "Yeah Dad. There's a bus straight from the train station. It drops me off at your front door."

My Father: "Well, I just wanted to say. Don't come by here tomorrow. I'm busy. The rest of the week should be OK."

Me: "OK Dad, I'll see what I can do. I just wanted you to know that this is pretty serious. I can't keep working seventy hours a week. I'm going to have to take care of myself so I'm retiring. "

My Father: "Retiring? How the heck are you gonna retire? You don't have any money."

Me: "Dad, I have a pension. I have savings. My medical insurance is paid for the rest of my life. I'm not too worried about that."

My Father: "You have savings? When did you get smart? You were never smart. "

Me:" Jesus, Dad, I've worked for the bridge for 22 years. What do you think I've been doing all these years?"

My Father: "Don't let them talk you into buying one of those big stretch limousines and working out at the airport!"

Me: "What?"

My Father: "That's how they get you. They make it sound like you'll make a lot of money but it's not true. They end up taking all of your money."

Me: "Hey, Dad, I've been in this business since I was a teenager. I know all about all of those owner/operator scams."

My Father: "OK, well, I'll let you go. Everything here is OK. You sound great. I'll talk to you."

Me, Yeah, OK. Bye Dad"

You might think that the communications problems have something to do with his age and hearing problems. This was a better than average conversation with my father. He's been like this my whole life.

Family Bible- Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen (Buy)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still Not Blogging About My Cat


Now this is a bus crash. People weep about their creased fenders. Babies, nothing but babies.

I'm still not blogging about my cat, but I might as well be. Nothing but personal blah blah to be found here. Tentative date for retirement has been set for April 5, 2010. Makin' me jittery. Paperwork should be arriving next week.

Gettin' The Corners- The Now Time Delegation (Buy)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't waste it on dogs!


I can't tell if these poems were supposed to be funny. They're certainly funny as read. Anybody who has ever written poetry has written some bad poetry. Don't take it hard Suzanne.

What the hell just happened to the font?

We are living in a Police State

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Post Halloween Post


A tiny witch in San Francisco's Cole Valley. Photo stolen from SFist.

There's two kinds of incredibly stupid discussions of Halloween going around, both coming from grown ups. First there's the incredibly stupid claim that Halloween is a Satanic holiday that should be boycotted by all gosh fearing Xtians. If you're reading this blog you don't need to hear my opinion on that one. An even more tiresome incredibly stupid discussion is coming from GROWNUPS who in some way disapprove of Halloween because it is just not fun enough for them. "Halloween in The Castro was ruined by straight teenage tourists." or "I'm so wild and free that every day is Halloween for me. I leave October 31st to the amateurs who've ruined it for us real free spirits."

Oh POOP, Halloween is for kids and kids unfailingly do a great job of celebrating Halloween. I saw a ton of incredibly cool costumes last night. All of them being worn by kids. Halloween addresses all kinds of kid issues about fantasy and fear and being someone else and kids, for the most part, get it just fine. Costumed grownups pouting about Halloween are about as attractive as grownups who cry at Christmas because they never got a pony. Let kids have some fun for a change without your cranky grownup ass getting in the way.

Diablo Con Antifaz (Devil In Disguise)- Baldemar Huerta as Freddy Fender (Buy)

I couldn't improve on this one


The Calling of Saint Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Contarelli Chapel, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome. (1599-1600)

I haven't had a lot of luck explaining the Jesus thing. It usually comes down to a discussion as to whether or not I really believe some story from The Bible. That, or there's the shoulder shrug and "Whatever works for you."

It's OK. I'm not much for preaching I'd rather let my actions be my message. Still, just because I like the story, I wish I could get across what it was that happened to me. I wasn't a bad person that got turned into a good person. I don't think I'm better than you. If anything I felt guilty and unworthy of the loving kindness I was being shown.

I have always been a dork and a friend to dorks. In gym class the biggest whitest jocks would be appointed captains and told to pick their teams. After the real players got picked the captains would argue over who was going to get stuck with me and my dork friends. Some of us were 'brainiacs', kids who were so scared of our own bodies that we retreated into our heads and got good grades. Most of us weren't good at much of anything. Not even dodgeball.

When the door opened and the light shone on me I felt like I had just been picked for the team. My first response was, "You've got the wrong guy. I'm not good at that kind of thing. I'm not good at much of anything."

Daisy Deadhead of Daisy's Dead Air is someone I actually, briefly met almost thirty years ago. I don't remember her, but we were in the same places at the same times, protesting the Republican convention in Detroit and getting stuck in the middle of a gigantic fist fight at a Rock Against Racism show. From what she's said about those events, I'm certain that we met.

Nowadays she's an unrepentant feminist, radical, resident of South Carolina and faithful Catholic with little or no respect for the church hierarchy. She just posted something about Carvaggio's painting and All Saint's Day. It's as good a sermon as I could wish to preach, if I was the preaching type. Read it here.

How He Delivered Me- Juanita Johnson, The Gospel Tones (Buy)
I highly recommend buying the Smithsonian Folkways compilation, "Every Tone A Testimony".

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat


There were many sides to Porter Wagoner, but in public he liked to show his manic side.

The Poetry Is For Assholes world headquarters and trailer is not all that large. My bedroom door looks into a short hallway/laundry room where the back door is located. So the other night I'm dozing with the bedside light on. All is quiet except for the occasional muffled noise from one of the horses. About 11:00 PM I noticed that the horses seemed to be making some extra noises. I was about to turn out the light and go to sleep in earnest when I realized that one of the horses seemed to be walking up my back steps.

I barely got out the words, "What's going on? Who's there?" when someone tried to open the door and then shouted,

"Sonoma County Sheriff! Come out with your hands up!"

Now the county sheriffs have quite a history of killing unarmed people. Usually it goes like this: Crazy person's family calls 911, tells the operator their loved one is acting crazy please send help. By help they usually mean an ambulance and some sort of crazy people intervention specialist. What they get instead is a couple of county sheriffs with their guns drawn. The sheriffs tell the crazy person to stop acting crazy. The crazy person replies, "Booga booga booga!" The sheriffs shoot the crazy person twice in the chest and once in the head. End of psychiatric intervention. After an investigation the sheriff's department announces that the crazy person had a history of mental illness. The local paper repeats that statement as if to say, "He/she had a history of saying 'Booga booga booga!' to policemen. What else could the deputies have done?"

All of this flashed though my mind as I leapt from my bed, threw open the door and stuck my hands, then my head, then the whole of my person out the back door.

There I stood in the flashlights glare. A heavily tattooed fat man wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts decorated with hula dancers. I was looking at two deputies, one male and one female, both with their weapons drawn. Being a proud American, I know my rights and I know they ain't shit when the guns leave the holsters. I timidly inquired, "What's going on deputies? How can I help you?"

"Gwen in the main house called 911 and said she heard someone back here. She says there's not supposed to be anyone in this trailer."

"Gwen?" Says I, "There's no Gwen living here."

"What are you doing here?" asked the male sheriff. "How long have you been here?"

"I've lived here five years. Are you sure you're at the right address?"

It came out that they were busting down doors and doing major police work at the wrong address. Nonetheless, crime must not be tolerated. The male cop told me to stand bare foot in some gravel while he went though my house. Once again I considered my rights as an American and weighed them against the abject terror and loathing I experience around authority figure with guns. I insisted on my constitutional right to footwear and went back in the house to put on shoes. I stood on the gravel while the male cop walked into my house and shone his flashlight around on my dirty dishes and unfolded laundry. Hey, the laundry is clean. I just haven't folded it.

Meanwhile the female cop and I stood and eyeballed one another at close range. She had the decency to look slightly embarrassed. When the male cop came out he was still flicking his flashlight around in crime stoppers mode but all guns were holstered.

Now, you'd think at this point an apology would be in order. Maybe some thanks for my cooperation? What I got was a warning. "You need to keep that back door locked. You don't know who might try and come in while you're asleep." I pointed out that in five years he was the only person who had ever tried to come in while I was asleep. "Yeah well just be careful from now on."

The deputies wandered off into the darkness waving their flashlights around and mumbling. "That gal that called us here is a real wingnut. I suppose we have to go over there and figure out what's bothering her too."

That was the second time a cop pointed a gun at me without provocation and then warned me to be more careful. I suppose he could have shot me a couple of times, just to, you know, back up the warning. If I were Black they might have done just that.

I didn't go to work today. I'm too sick. My doctor finally agreed to sign all of the necessary papers to prove that I am under his care with a mildlly debilitating medical problem. This will protect me from being fired for at least the next year. I tell you, even with a reduced pension I'm giving some serious thought to retirement. I'm sick all the time. I can't take care of myself and I hate my job. Maybe I'm just tired.

When he wasn't wired to the teeth Porter Wagoner was often depressed and ill. Here's a strangely sincere tribute to one of his favorite loony bins.

Committed to Parkview- Porter Wagoner (Buy)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Bobble is all you need.


I've never been much for using The Bible as a road map. It's full of questionable advice and dubious examples. It's OK for fathers and daughters to have sex so long as they're in a cave and daddy's drunk? Oh, don't forget to blame it on the kids. They got daddy drunk and took advantage of him. That's the horrible conclusion to Lot's escape from Sodom. You can be sure he didn't engage in no sodomy either.

Then there's the bestial crime against nature. An act so unnatural that to commit is to condemn oneself to the fiery pit for all eternity. I am of course referring to eating shellfish.

Adultery is a terrible sin. If a man takes another man's wife in adulterous lust he is condemned in the eyes of god. There's a loophole though. If the adulterer kills the woman's husband and then marries the woman it's OK with god. It worked for David and Bathsheba and it can work for you. You'll notice the woman has no agency in this matter. She was one dude's chattel then she becomes another dude's chattel. Love is a many splendored thing.

OK, so The Bible is a catalogue of bad behavior. It's also full of those moments when we have to bow our heads before The Great Mysteries of life. "Truly, The Lord was in this place and I did not know it!" Sometimes it's worth your while to miss a night's sleep. One of The Great Mysteries is the comfort of simple faith. By the grace of God, sometimes we know that we are loved, that our lives have meaning and that in due time more will be revealed.

That's a hard feeling to put into words. Mostly it comes out as pure fucking corn- cheese in a spray can. When we try to express it we say dumb stuff like, "I'm using my Bible for a road map." The thing is that the spirit of those sentiments really is true even if the letter does "Killeth"

Even hipsters can see it. Danny Barnes and the kids from Porter Hall Tennessee are hipsters but they ain't too dumb to know a good thing when they see it.

My friend Laura is concerned that I am overwrought. Me too. She suggests meditation music. Meditiation music makes me tense and irritable. I listen to this kind of stuff. It helps.

I'm Using My Bible For A Road Map- Porter Hall Tennessee (Buy)

I'm Using My Bible For A Road Map- The Bad Livers (Buy)

I'm going to try and lay off the internet for a few days.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Total sleep time so far this week is 20 hours. I had an asthma attack Tuesday that kept me awake all night. Had to go to work. Now until mid December, if I am late or absent I lose my job. I made inquiries about retiring right now. There's not enough money there. If I thought I could get another job, I'd do it but just lately a lot of people would do a lot of things if they could get another job.

I suppose I should consider myself fortunate that I am only in the kind of trouble that goes away in a few weeks. I know people who have never missed a day's work. I will never be one of them.

Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White- The Standells (Buy)

Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White- Hypstrz (Buy)

Today's musical selection is for Billy Foster in Los Angeles.

Extra big bonus another Hypstrz track. Hypstrz were America's only punk rock oldies band. Here they are covering another Standells classic.

Riot On Sunset Strip- Hypstrz (Buy)

Friday, October 16, 2009


Then again... maybe not. Who can resist the glamour and excitement of buses?
Photo from The Invisible Edge.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Every job I've ever had has had something to do with transportation. Even when I was working in a steel mill as an apprentice I was working on rail cars. I've had a commercial drivers license since 1973. Before that, I was a teenager driving forklifts on a loading dock and moving trucks around the lot.

I can also say that every job I've ever had I've either been an active union member, or actively trying to organize a union.

I've worked for the Large Orange Bridge District for almost 22 years. I'm getting really tired. I get depressed often. I haven't drawn a clear breath in a long long time. I have diabetes, torn up joints and chronic headaches.

I've also started fucking up. I can't get myself up for work. I'm pissed off when I'm there. I'm about to become a danger to myself and the public. I just can't pay attention. All I really want to do is hang out, play the ukulele and talk to people. I've been working 12 to 16 hours a day for the last 25 years.

I'm thinking it's time for a change.

The pension board keeps coming up with different numbers. I need to read the pension plan contract carefully. I'm starting to think that I could put together a year on disability. By the time the year is up I should have just about enough time to retire.

I won't be walking off with the big money, but I'll have an income and medical care. Cash me the fuck out.

It might be time.

Big City-Merle Haggard (Buy) There is no such thing as too much Merle Haggard.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Some sacred harp singing for Sunday. I can't remember where I first heard Sacred Harp singing. From the first time I heard it I recognized it. It is timeless and it is one of the reasons why I am not about to immigrate to France. Every time I get fed up with America I learn about something uniquely American that I could not leave behind.

It's true that most Americans consume themselves with hideous spectacles, but this is a big country and if only a small minority of us turn away from the spectacle, that's still a lot of people.

Traveling Pilgrim- Henagar Union Sacred Harp Convention (Buy)

I'm really depressed. I woke up this morning and my breathing was so clogged up it was like trying to breath through a cocktail straw. I thought about work and all I could think was "Why fucking bother?" I'm in trouble at work for taking off last week. To his credit, my boss expressed concern and has asked me to come in and explain what's going on before he decides what to do. I will be coming in with union representation and a little bit of hope that I'm doing the right thing.

In clinical terms, I have post traumatic stress disorder. The combination of long term illness, job stress and dealing with my family has set me off. I am not coping with this by myself. I have a support network that includes both friends and professionals. This still sucks. I'll be posting but the posts might get a little bit weird. Then again they might just get pretty dull.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Old People


Now this is how you get old and post punk. I saw the Meat Purveyors at the Forestville Club, Forestville California. It's a town without a stop light. They do have one of those signs that lights up and shows your speed so you slow down when you drive through downtown. Downtown is 2 blocks long, but one side of one block is a field. Pretty nice place really. As you might imagine, the Forestville Club is a foetid dive. It's just the sort of place I used to love. I hate going out to bars these days, but this time it was worth the trip.

Go Out Smokin'- The Meat Purveyors (Buy)

Punk Rock then and now

With apologies to certain friends.

This is pretty much what punk rock was like when I first started going to shows. You might notice that the music sucks. In fact the only thing that sucked worse than early punk rock was EVERY FUCKING THING ELSE. Few people realize what a dark and dismal time the '70's were. Old people like myself tend to gloss over the horrors of the '70's because all we can remember is that we could and did have lots of sex and did not have to worry about wearing rubbers or dying because we got laid. Bands like the Mutants have not stood the test of time but so what? When some perfectly permed and bell bottomed asshole with a mustache would complain that The Mutants didn't measure up to The Eagles or America I would gleefully respond, "Yeah, they're fuckin' awful. That's why we love them so!"

This was before the invention of Hardcore Punk. You'll notice that there are lots of girls in the audience. Lots of fellows who might just be homos too. Early punk rock scared the shit out of some people because it was a scene for creeps and losers and outcasts. There weren't many rules for aspiring punk rockers to follow. You had to show up and make it up as you went along.

Hardcore took care of all of those problems. Punk rules! And regulations! became the order of the day. Hardcore was OK at first. Really it was, but it got pretty boring pretty quick. Pretty soon hardcore bands had to be "tight". Like the Tower of Power horn section. Hardcore was also about angry heterosexual white boys- exclusively. Some heterosexual white boys have reasons to be angry that aren't completely idiotic. There are a lot of people who have way more reason to be angry though. They tend to keep it to themselves or end up in prison.

I'll have to admit that I also disliked Hardcore because it reminded me that I was getting old. I was broke and my teeth were broken and giving me a lot of pain. I had to come up with a grownup type plan. I spent much of the Hardcore era driving sixty or eighty thousand miles a year. When my bus was empty I listened to rap music, Dwight Yoakam and Steve Earle. I didn't worry too much about punk rock. I found a dentist.

So now we're into what, the fifth, sixth wave of punk rock? Once punk rock was safe for heterosexual white men it just kept getting safer. Some years ago, I was chatting with my stepdaughter's baby sitter. She was a nice young woman. I had no misgivings about leaving the kid in her care. She was a devout Mormon. She told me that she was a big fan of music. I asked her what kind of music she liked best. She told me her favorite music was punk rock. "Have you ever heard any punk bands?" she asked me. I asked her the names of her favorite bands. I hadn't heard of any of them, but I checked them out. They were all these sort of boy bands with perfect tattoos and shiny tour buses. They were working a regular circuit of corporate venues playing note for note perfect versions of their big hits.

The SF public library is doing a film series and exhibit about the early, pre HC, punk scene. Some of my friends are looking forward to going and looking for their youthful selves in the crowd.

Meanwhile the kids are carrying on the punk rock tradition in new form. Check the video below. I love when the kids in the mosh pit do the thing where they all wave their pom poms. Rock on



Red Simpson was practically a punk rock motherfucker. He didn't like hippies anyway.

I'm A Truck- Red Simpson (Buy)

Roll Truck Roll- Red Simpson (Buy)

I went up Feather River Canyon a few times. It's pretty slow and a little bit hairy in places but prettier than Donner Summit. I-80 is for pussies.

Gosh thanks


Imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever. But it has to be a really cool boot.

A bunch of people said really nice things to me, which I appreciate. I suppose I'm just depressed. It's 11:00 AM, I haven't been to work for a week. I'm still in bed. I'd like to spend another week or two in bed. I'm going back to work tomorrow. I couldn't figure out a way to stay out any longer. It's a beautiful day. I really should go outside.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thinkin'

I'm giving some serious thought to folding up Poetry Is For Assholes. I never quite figured out what I wanted to write about. I like posting music files, but there's tons of people doing that. I don't feel like being one of the many bloggers who write about their personal lives.

I'll have to admit to feeling burnt out in general. I'm not really sick, but I'm constantly beset by health problems. My crazy family is acting a little crazier and demanding a little more attention. My job has been a real grind. I'm just trying to survive a couple more years there.

I'll also have to confess that I have been sucked in by the evil one, the all seeing eye, Facebook. I've been chatting with various High School friends and old Midwestern scenesters.

I've been reading actual books. I noticed that I was acquiring more and more books that I meant to read and getting around to fewer and fewer of them. I've decided to see if I can't put a dent in the pile of books (hell, piles) of books around the house. I'm finding that I like the way books make me slow down. The internet and it's constant flow of "information" makes me feel a little too speedy and "ADDish". Besides is it really information if it's fucking useless and serves to do nothing but clutter up my thoughts?

I'm going to take a little time and think about what, if anything, I want to do on the internet. If I feel clear in my direction I might start another "serious" blog to discuss union issues.

I'm not giving up the internet. Not hardly. If I've been following and commenting on your blog, I will continue to do so. I've got a couple of regulars who don't have blogs of their own. I'd like to hear from them. Rick in Lorain and Sarah in Mississippi, you're both really interesting people. Same goes for anybody else who comes here regularly and anonymously. You know who you are.

Feel free to email me at Adamdelved, that's all one word, at g mail dot com.

If you're wondering about Adamdelved, it comes from the rhyme, "When Adam delved and Eve span/ Who was then the gentleman?" Those two lines contain the seed of all subsequent radical thought in the English speaking world.

For the moment I leave you with this,

"When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty."
-John Ball- 1381

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Come on back and talk to Teddy Bear!

A question


LIp sync yodeling. Fake ukulele playing and Jesus. Close to perfect.

Did you ever notice, if you question some Christians, that they will tell you that all of the weird shit in The Bible, the stuff that doesn't make much sense on the face of it, must be read and believed absolutely literally?

God absolutely planted a big garden with a magic tree in the middle. He put one sleepy little dude in the middle of the garden and then he created one little dudesse out of dude's rib. If you don't believe this you will go to H-E- Double Toothpicks for ever and ever and ever and Jesus will burn you up until the stuff in your eyeballs boils and then Jesus will make you magical new eyeballs so he can boil them until they pop, POP, and he will do this forever and forever and forever over and over again because that's the truth. Our God is an Awesome God. POP.

But if you ask those same people about the stuff in the Bible where it says don't kill people, or you should love your neighbor or if you deny the least, the most unimportant human, you are denying Jesus himself, they say, "You can't take that stuff literally. You have to understand how to interpret it. It's all very complicated. You need to find the right interpretation because love your neighbor means something different in the original Aramaic and besides God's love is a terrible and fearful thing."?

I'm just saying....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Further thoughts on California


I've driven across this bridge something like 12,000 times. Lots of times my job is boring. Lots of times I just watch traffic and never worry about where I am. Every time I make it to The Bridge I have to pause, mentally, and think, "Holy shit, I'm on The Large Orange Bridge." It is the most beautiful man made object I've ever seen.

Here's something I like about Fall in California. They call it "Autumn". I always though that was a quaint word that no one really used anymore. Around here lots of people call it Autumn. My friend named his daughter Autumn. Autumn.

I don't understand Los Angeles. This is not just NorCal rivalry with SoCal. Most cities came into being because there was a navigable waterway and/or an exploitable resource. L.A. seems to exist because people want to live there. Yes there are industries, but most of them could be located anywhere. There's a big port, but that came after the city started to grow.

L.A. must have been beautiful, so people moved there, because it was "nice". Then more people moved there. And more. And more. And more. Now the place is some kind of futuristic dystopia and people keep moving there. They have to pipe in water from Ohio just to water their lawns. I really don't get it. I don't dislike all of it. I've had some grand times there. I just couldn't figure out what we were all doing there.

Why can't all songs have this much heart?

You Belong To My Heart- Old 97's (Buy)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Just A Prisoner of Love


The capes! God I love the capes!

Not a lot of time or energy this weekend. Further notes on California. We are entering into our late summer, early fall, heatwave. For the rest of the week temperatures close to 100 degrees are expected. Some Californians have this weird disconnect with the weather. They will say things like, "Winter's coming. You can feel a nip in the air," on days when the temperature is in the 90's. I don't really get it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


For Mr. Beer N. Hockey. A great poet. A great American. North American.

I Wanna Be A Girl- King Khan and the Shrines (Buy)
King Khan is a North American too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I was just listening to The Dead Boys. They reminded me of what an angry guy I used to be. Boy was I pissed off.

I still think that the world is a lot meaner than it needs to be and that some very bad people are getting away with some very bad things. Gosh, I even still feel misunderstood and alienated sometimes. I guess I stopped taking the world so fucking personally.



Sonic Reducer- The Dead Boys (Buy)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shorter hours


I'm working shorter hours. I'm much less likely to fall asleep at the wheel. I might have something to say for myself later. In the meantime, if you don't have this record, do what you must to acquire it. Just because I luv u.

Mosquito Crucifixion- The Suicide Commandos (Buy)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Protests Have Started.

I noticed that one of my 12 "followers" has stopped following me. I can see that angry poetry lovers are voting with their feet and leaving for some other arts journal and blog that will look upon their favorite poet and smile.

Speaking of protests. I'm not offended that the asshole from South Carolina called Obama a liar. I'm offended that during the entire eight years of George Bush's presidency not one single Democrat blew up at him and called him a liar. I understand that a lot of old, white men are frightened by Obama. Why wasn't one single Democrat frightened by George Bush? I mean frightened enough to yell at him.

Fuck this polite shit. It's time to set up the Obama people's tribunals and start executing counter revolutionaries or at least making them write something on the blackboard 100 times.

Poetry Awards


If Wilfred Owens was not totally, totally dead he probably would have won.

I'm sure a ripple passed through the literary world with my sudden announcement that Nazz Nomad has won the prestigious Poetry Is For Assholes poet of the year award. I mostly gave him the award because he writes poems that are pretty short and easy to remember.

Let me assure you that I will be posting an even handed and fair discussion of how the judges and I reached our decision. There are several fine poets who come to this blog on a regular basis. Then there's Eloh in Alabama who posts Robert Service poetry which should probably earn her some kind of award.

Just lately I have been getting home around 9 or 10 at night and going back to work at 6 in the morning. I'm so tired I'm seeing shit. Short and easy to remember counts for a lot. Sometimes I fade in and out of dreams and vivid memories of my childhood. I could have given the award to the author of "The Saggy Baggy Elephant".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This Probably Won't Work

For comrade Nazz Nomad, poet of the year, because he seems to be having a bad time of it.

SELLTHEHOUSESELLTHECARSELLTHEKIDSFINDSOMEONEELSEI'MNEVERCOMINGBACKFORGETITI'MNEVERCOMINGBACK- Dillinger Four (Buy)

Call this the Jerry Lee Lewis option: "Son, I know I'm goin' to hell but it's too damn late to stop."

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bad Guy Reaction


By the Walking Ruins. I used to know these guys. They are really old with kids and grown up stuff. They still get together and play out. They're alright.

Metanoia


I've been thinking about sin and salvation and country music. Let's start this post off with an invocation.

Baby Jesus Prayer- from the movie Talladega Nights- Courtesy of Setting The Woods On Fire.

See, the thing is that I really like hard core honky tonk songs. I like songs about drinkin' and cheatin' and fightin' and just generally misbehavin'. I also really like gospel music. It all seemed to tie together somehow, but I wasn't quite sure how.

So let's consider one of the greatest cheatin' songs ever.

In Some Room Above the Street- Gary Stewart (buy)

Gary Stewart wasn't just talkin' either. Something got ahold of him and wouldn't let go until he was dead. He was as crazy and self destructive as any rock and roller. For a great appreciation of his work and a short biography, Click Here.

Now, if you've taken the time to read that piece. Go back and listen to the song again. Is that the sound of a man having a good time, even an illicit good time? The man sounds tortured. He's faced his demons and the demons won. Maybe you don't know that feeling. I think I do.

Some of us, at some point, look back on our lives and we feel Like Mister Kurtz. The boat has arrived too late. Things have gone on too long. The situation is beyond retrieval and we are about to die:

He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath—"The horror! The horror!"
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

For a lucky few of us damned souls, the possibility of salvation presents itself.

Now, I'm not talking here about guilt and shame and trying to make it right with the wife. I'm not talking about placating a judge or quieting the ghost of Mom. I'm talking about the abyss and the hand that grasps ours as we are about to fall in.

I'm not very good at religion. My "personal relationship" with Jesus is as cheezy as the prayer from Talladega Nights. It suits me just fine though. Besides, my salvation is about other people. Real people showed up, stuck their noses in my miserable business and saved me because someone had done the same for them. They told me it was a God thing but they didn't get much more specific than that. I started the conversation with Jesus on my own. I like the IWW's fellow worker Jesus and Dorothy Day's Jesus of the streets. That's who I'm talking too when I say grace.

So, here's where gospel music comes into it. It seems like there's a cycle of country songs. We throw ourselves whole heartedly into the world. We discover the wild side of life. We are drug into places we never knew existed. The world is revealed to be a cruel sham. The bottle, or whatever, lets us down and we are alone with our pain. We see the light. We are lifted out of ourselves. Our old life has no more claim on us. We at last know peace.

Shit, I dunno. It works for me. Oh and yes, I've met people who insist on going through that cycle again and again. And I've met people who think they're better than the rest of us because they used to be worse than the rest of us. I've met people who carry on hurting people in terrible ways while claiming that the stench surrounding them is the odor of sanctity. Look, I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the people who've been through it, come out alive and are happy and grateful. Here's a couple of songs for them. You don't have to believe in God and you don't have to send any money to any preacher to enjoy them.

Where Could I Go But To The Lord- Emmylou Harris (Buy)

I'll Be Rested- Mavis Staples (Buy)

I was going to post this on a Sunday, but lately I need a three day weekend to feel rested enough to write anything.

Labor Day


I went to the North Bay Central Labor Council labor day pancake breakfast. You wouldn't know the labor movement was in trouble to look at the crowd. I think free pancakes and t shirts had something to do with it, but what's wrong with that? Business promises you job loss, pay cuts and no health care. Labor delivers free pancakes and t shirts. Which side are you on?

The public radio station was supposedly doing a tribute to labor and I listened while I drove to the breakfast. I quickly figured out that their point was to prove that unions were something in the past and the labor movement isn't relevant anymore. They managed to drag in a couple of elderly folk singers who were a little vague about labor history, but at least one of them had met a worker once. Actually, the poor old things were a little vague about everything. I hope I don't live long enough to get used by some yuppie who is looking to fill his "labor" coverage quota.

They also had some "labor" historians on. The show was pretty much dominated by another elderly fellow who who was determined to take up the whole show explaining his theory that the SF labor movement was saved by a group of anti communist Catholic businessmen. Apparently, were in it not for those unsung heroes of the Police Department and the Chamber of Commerce, the SF general strike would have been taken over by Communists. The whole thing was weird and the old guy's voice was quavering and shrill. What the hell was that about?

It was a relief to be among real live labor people. I got there just as the food ran out. I had a cold dry bagel and an equally cold and dry pancake. I never did find the coffee. I don't give a shit. It was OK to be in a big crowd of people who were talking up real issues. I only stayed for one speaker, Sonoma County's own Norman Solomon. Solomon was just back from Afghanistan. He told a story about an Afghan worker whose house was destroyed by an American bomb. His 7 year old daughter lost her arm. The North Bay's share of war taxes comes to 1.2 billion dollars, including the cost of that bomb. The crowd looked a little tense for a minute there. A lot of union members have family members in Iraq and Afghanistan. My local president's son will be deployed this week. Another local member's son was killed this summer. Then Solomon started to point out what that money could have bought if it had been spent right here. He had us then. The crowd cheered.

I walked around and shook a few hands and left. The labor movement is not doing too well. It's been under attack for my entire working life. It is definitely alive. I will not leave you with some antique folk song about labor. That stuff is quaint as hell but we ain't dead yet.

General Strike- DOA (buy)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Working a lot


I'm not posting a lot. I'm working a lot. When I get a chance I'll post some more.

Orgarhythm- King Brothers (Buy)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If You're Going To San Francisco


"Just moved here? Far out! Well, have a nice day on the planet man!"

A childhood friend just visited California for the first time. She really liked it, but she sent me an email asking about the differences between California and New Jersey. Here's an edited version of my reply:

"Q: What's the Difference between New York and California?

A: When a New Yorker says, "Go Fuck Yourself", he means, "Have a nice day."
When a Californian says "Have a nice day", he means "Go fuck yourself."

The superficial, breezy cheerfulness one encounters among so many Californians is not to be trusted. Californians are constantly competing for a bigger piece of paradise. The place is crowded with people who are looking to get over and chances are they view you as a threat. You're on their beach, buying into their real estate market, crowding their street and taking their table in their restaurant.

While there is relatively little geographic separation into ethnic enclaves, don't let that fool you either. California may be the most segregated place I've ever lived. Traditionally, California was the White Man's Paradise. White people are still relatively privileged and they will do what they have to to retain that privilege. Immigrants and native born minorities know that the system is stacked against them and are just as ruthless in their pursuit of success.

Finally, sociopathic behavior is not uncommon here. In fact, in many circles it's considered cool; the mark of a real man or a strong woman.

Don't get me wrong, phoniness, financial and social competition and criminal mindedness are common everywhere, but they seem to be a little more normal here. Still, most Californians are, all things considered, nice enough. Funny thing is that a lot of Californians can embrace high, if judgmental, idealism right alongside those negative qualities.

I got in a little bit of trouble because I was relatively abrasive, or at least brusque in my conversational style. At the same time, a lot of people considered me naive because I tried to be forthright in my dealings.

Ultimately, I don't know that Californians are any better or worse than anybody else, but there is a California way of doing things that can be quite disconcerting when you first get here. To a new arrival Californians seem to be laid back, open minded and idealistic; the land of flakes, nuts and fruits. That's just "front". You might say that there is a California regional demeanor. New Englanders are a little more formal. Midwesterners are a little more shy and reserved. Southerners are a a little more loud and jovial.

I'd have to say that the California "front" must be working OK because California is an OK place to live. It's not terribly corrupt. There's at least a sizable minority that believes in social fairness. People generally value education. Most people are well traveled and genuinely interested in the rest of the world.

The Schwarznegger/Bush wing of California and national politics has done a lot to damage those traditional values. The real estate bubble made the place just miserable as did the phony dot com boom. A lot of people really have gotten rich quick here and a lot more people think they deserve to get rich quick too. California is all about gold rushes and that mentality, when exploited by the right wrong people can get really ugly.

I've spent about half my life here, but the above is what it looks like from the other half. (A mutual friend) used to complain ceaselessly about California. One day I pointed out to him that he had become a certain kind of Californian. He had become the kind of Californian who moved here twenty years ago and spent the next twenty years complaining that California is not like New York.

Oh, if you're planning on visiting again, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair."



I will always have a soft spot for Grace Slick. Whatever else she was, she was never a bullshitter. Here she is with her first band.

Free Advice- The Great Society (Buy)

A perky new me


Things are a little livelier today.

Hopefully I'll get something done today. I'm up and dressed and everything. Because I appreciate my few readers and my even fewer listeners, here's a wonderful soul tune by William Bell and Judy Clay. I don't remember this song from the sixties but it has really grown on me in recent years. One of my favorite songs.

Private Number- William Bell and Judy Clay (Buy)

My problem, I think, is not so much that I'm crazier than anybody else but that I'm not as good at covering it up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bed Suck


Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

I am stuck to my bed. I have no desire to get up, but I have a vague suspicion that this is not a good thing. I have to earn a living. All sorts of financial predators are knocking at my door, not to mention Buck and Tex, my excellent landlords. I've been sleeping badly, but I've been staying awake just as badly. I was supposed to spend the day mediating between work and doctor's office so that proper paper work could be exchanged. Instead I lay here. I suspect that I am dissociating. Maybe I'm sick but I don't feel particularly sick. I feel a bit depressed, but not consciously so. On the other hand, I woke up last night in a state just below a full on panic attack.

Sorry to have to bare my inner most to strangers here but I don't feel like talking to real people.

Music helps.

Outta Harm's Way- King Khan and the Shrines (Buy)

King Khan and the Shrines and The Satelliters sound really good today.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Two bus loads of drivers attended Chuck Everette's funeral today. It has been my great privilege to work with some fine people.

Speaking of corporate agriculture: Unemployment in Imperial County, California is 30.2 percent. How's capitalism working out for you?

Driving people from defiance to compliance- Noam Chomsky (Buy) (Or don't buy)

It's not a music download but nobody's listening to any of those either. If only you knew how hard I work at this stuff.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Posted elsewhere



As I've said elsewhere, my best stuff shows up on other people's blogs. Mr. Beer N. Hockey posted one of his excellent poems and I just had to mouth off:

"Some neighbors decided to buy some ewes, raise a few lambs and make a couple of bucks. Seemed like a good idea until it was time to separate the lambs from their mothers. The lambs screamed and the ewes screamed back, that lasted all night until the truck came to haul the lambs off. The ewes continued to scream and cry for a couple of days afterwards. The sounds they made were heart rending. I couldn't eat lamb for several years after. Reminded me of the time a calf died in a field near here. The cow stood over the body, rigid with grief, and didn't move for days.

The longest I ever lasted as a vegetarian was about a year. By the end of the year I was dreaming about meat. I thought about it like I thought about sex when I was sixteen. Finally a vegetarian friend told me that I should probably go ahead and eat some meat. By that time I probably could have clubbed a baby seal and eaten it's heart.

These days I eat dead things frequently. I try and remember the animal on the plate but mostly I don't bother.

Twenty some years ago, I spent a few years around big corporate agriculture. I saw all of those factory farms that the animal rights assholes like to talk about. They were pretty bad. Being an animal on one of those farms was about as bad as being a human and working at most human jobs. That's the part that animal rights people miss".


Beer, as usual, offered a good reply:

"When the morning whistle blows, everybody I work with know they are just meat in a grinder.

I too am in favour of free range humans."


Work- Scott H. Biram (Buy)

Work- Maureen Tucker (Buy)

Here's a song about work, not in the Marxist sense, rather what one does with "That Thing".

The Way That You Work- Les Sexareenos (Buy)

Finally a song about a man who has slipped the bonds of labor and everything else.

The Bottomless Hole- The Handsome Family (Buy)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

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