Monday, 05/02/2016

Terra Nova

The product of the soil...


May 2, 11:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

for there you have been and there you will long to return

A one ended boomerang:

I am a pencil that cannot sharpen,

                            ink that slides off paper,

                                                      outside of our time, I am lost,
                                                                                 a one ended boomerang.

Samuel Wagan Watson.


May 2, 10:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, 05/01/2016

Ora sì ch'io son contenta

Yes, I'm happy with it now...


May 1, 11:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

From the Republic

Book III (Socrates narrates):

[W]e must assume a control over the narrators of this class of tales as well as over the others, and beg them not simply to but rather to commend the world below, intimating to them that their descriptions are untrue, and will do harm to our future warriors.

That will be our duty, he said.

Then, I said, we shall have to obliterate many obnoxious passages, beginning with the verses,

I would rather he a serf on the land of a poor and portionless man than rule over all the dead who have come to nought [Odyssey, 11]

We must also expunge the verse, which tells us how Pluto feared,

Lest the mansions grim and squalid which the gods abhor should he seen both of mortals and immortals [Iliad, 20]

And again:

O heavens! verily in the house of Hades there is soul and ghostly form but no mind at all! [Iliad, 23]

And we must beg Homer and the other poets not to be angry if we strike out these and similar passages, not because they are unpoetical, or unattractive to the popular ear, but because the greater the poetical charm of them, the less are they meet for the ears of boys and men who are meant to be free, and who should fear slavery more than death.




May 1, 9:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, 04/30/2016

After The Rain

Don't muddy the waters.


April 30, 11:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Close This Book

A Dark Word:

As l walk patiently through life
poems follow close—

blind, dumb, agile, my own shadow;
the mind’s dark overflow, the spill of vein
we thought red once but know now, no.

The poem called death
is unwritten yet. Some day will show
the violent last line,
the shadow rise,
a bird of omen

snatch me for its ghost.
And a hand somewhere, purposeful as God’s
close like two eyes, this book.

Daniel Berrigan.


April 30, 10:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"I’m going to be really good for America."

President George Washington, April 30, 1789:

Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the fourteenth day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years: a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my Country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with dispondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.

President Donald Trump, please take note.


April 30, 9:11 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, 04/29/2016

What good is melody, what good is music?



April 29, 11:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Doomed To Repeat

Learning from History:

They said, my saints, my slogan-sayers sang,
Be good, my child, in spite of all alarm.
They stood, my fathers, tall in a row and said,
Be good, be brave, you shall not come to harm.
I heard them in my sleep and muttering dream,
And murmuring cried, How shall I wake to this?
They said, my poets, singers of my song,
We cannot tell, since all we tell you is
But history, we speak but of the dead.
And of the dead they said such history
(Their beards were blazing with the truth of it)
As made of much of me a mystery. 

David Ferry.


April 29, 10:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 04/28/2016

Cruelty with purpose is not cruelty - it's efficiency.

You bloody bastard! You'll not put your foot on me again!


April 28, 11:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Going On


This immemorial clock,
Whose dial is the girth
Of sea and hill and rock,
Entireties of earth,
Sounds with the falling sound
Of silver waters dropping,
So rhythmically bound,
Unaltered and unstopping.

And as those waters brim
The clock of earth and fall,
So round the solar rim
Fall the bright planets all,
Within that clock the sun:
Yet larger clocks than these
Await oblivion—
Altair; the Pleiades.

Kenneth Slade Alling.


April 28, 11:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain

When I was a boy, my stomach told me when to eat; but nowadays our lives are regimented by these infernal time-keepers.

 - Menander commenting on sundials

Timing, as they say, is everything:

Without the pendulum clock, the Industrial Revolution doesn’t happen. Without the quartz clock, the technology in the digital revolution doesn’t happen. It’s time, weirdly enough, that advanced our world. How?

The pendulum clock (conceived by Galileo, made by Christiaan Huygens) was useful for accurate timekeeping because the time it takes for a pendulum to swing is approximately the same regardless of the size of the pendulum. That means, a pendulum swing could serve as an accurate measurement of time. Before this, time was relatively useless because of how inaccurate it was across people, countries, and the world. This put everyone on the same time, so to speak.

The quartz clock (shout out Pierre and Jacques Curie) was even more accurate, since when electricity is sent through quartz it vibrates at a specific frequency so it can be programmed for exact timekeeping purposes. This is all necessary to coordinate the microprocessors in our computers and technology.

I think I've got the rate on the church clock pretty well adjusted.  But this damned cooling and warming, without Harrison's gridiron pendulum, tasks me...


April 28, 11:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Quis falsificare ipsos falsarius?

So the Latin is a stab in the dark.  Whatever.

Anyway, given my hobby of debunking certain things, I did find this debunking the debunking article at FiveThirtyEight to be of great interest.  This shit is a lot like conspiracy theories: somebody gets to feel superior over all the garlic eaters and their accepted knowledge.  Now lemme tell ya about chemtrails...


April 28, 9:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


Call Guinness: George is still kicking at a spry 150!

Lovely view, eh?

The first landing on the way to the tower.

It was the first time in about 3 weeks that I felt like I had some real energy.  I know it's 3 weeks because I was laid up last Thursday and couldn't wind the clock, plus the 2 times before that I was wicked sore and exhausted after turning the crank.

Today, I walked to the church, made sure to pace myself on the winding, and felt darn fine on the walk home.  What a gorgeous day to mosey around the Village District...


April 28, 7:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


Lola is The Groomer these days, but Dear Departed Vinnie was originally in charge.


April 28, 1:23 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, 04/27/2016

Is It Summer Yet?

You know, we had winter again yesterday.


April 27, 11:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Decision 2016

On Imperialism:

Proxies—pertinent, prominent, proximate—
impose war, sustain it.
The Empire ever absent and seemingly elsewhere—
evasive, persuasive, pervasive. Things are
this complicated.

Raza Ali Hasan.


April 27, 10:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who's Afraid Of Legal Weed In Vermont?

Good on the Senate:

With time running out in the legislative session, supporters of marijuana legalization launched a sneak attack Wednesday from the Vermont Senate in hopes of forcing a reluctant House to weigh in on the matter.

By a 16 to 12 vote, the Senate moved to send its languishing legalization bill back over to the House, where it has stalled in committee for weeks.

“I thought there ought to be at least an opportunity for House members to express their support or opposition,” said Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sears moved to attach the contents of a previously passed Senate bill to an unrelated House bill, H.858, which makes miscellaneous changes to the criminal code.

“I’m not surprised,” Speaker Shap Smith (D-Morristown) said of the move, adding that it would not necessarily force the full House to vote on legalization.

Smith described the number of House members who would support legalization as “not many” and said that if it came to the House floor attached to another bill, "It will lose and lose badly.”

Those not part of "not many" in the House can bite me.  Cowards.


April 27, 9:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oh Look, The Intersection!

At Foothills yesterday.

I spent much of last week in bed.  Sadie was under the weather and out of school the last couple days, but we still went to our favorite bakery to get cookies as we do every Tuesday and Friday.  From the peeps there, we learned that everybody's been getting hit pretty well by a bad cocktail of bugs floating around, which makes me feel a little better about having at least one Pritsky-Garstka (if not two) down every day since Easter.


April 27, 7:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 04/26/2016

You used to say that it was so easy

But you're tryin', you're tryin' now...


April 26, 11:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Thundermakers descend

A Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar:

Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower—
where among these did the power reside
that moves the heart? What flower of the nation   
bride-sweet broke to the whole rapture?   
Hoover, Coolidge, Harding, Wilson
hear the factories of human misery turning out commodities.   
For whom are the holy matins of the heart ringing?
Noble men in the quiet of morning hear   
Indians singing the continent’s violent requiem.   
Harding, Wilson, Taft, Roosevelt,   
idiots fumbling at the bride’s door,
hear the cries of men in meaningless debt and war.
Where among these did the spirit reside   
that restores the land to productive order?   
McKinley, Cleveland, Harrison, Arthur,
Garfield, Hayes, Grant, Johnson,
dwell in the roots of the heart’s rancor.
How sad “amid lanes and through old woods”   
   echoes Whitman’s love for Lincoln!

Robert Duncan.


April 26, 11:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brokered Conventions And Bundy Trials

This scene keeps popping into my head of late.


April 26, 10:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Coalition Building In A Two-Party System

And I see people are aghast:

"We’re not a movement where I can snap my fingers and say to you or to anybody else what you should do, that you should all listen to me. You shouldn’t. You make these decisions yourself," Sanders replied.

He then said that Clinton will have to court his supporters herself.

"And if Secretary Clinton wins, it is incumbent upon her to tell millions of people who right now do not believe in establishment politics or establishment economics, who have serious misgivings about a candidate who has received millions of dollars from Wall Street and other special interests," he said. "She has got to go out to you."

I'll leave aside the PUMA Phenomenon in '08 and just note that, if we're stuck with a 2-party system, then an internal coalition is necessary for one to be successful politically.  That means, in part, that the significant number of voters who went with the old socialist Jew ought to be acknowledged in more than a glib You Don't Want Trump To Win fashion, n'est pas?  Why shouldn't Hillary expect to reach out, making her positive case, addressing their concerns expressed throughout the silly season?

Now would be a good time to remember that the victor, if she wants to rely on certain folks, might want to keep campaigning to ensure Democrats and Independents who supported her fellow primary candidate help her win the big one.


April 26, 9:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Here's Another Woman We Could Put On Some Money

Ride, Sybil, ride:

Sybil Ludington was born on April 5, 1761 in Patterson, New York, the daughter of Abigail and Colonel Henry Ludington. He had fought in the French and Indian War and was an influential community leader. He volunteered to head the local militia during the American Revolution. In 1777, Sybil was sixteen years old and the oldest of twelve children. Being the oldest, Sybil was often in charge of caring for her eleven younger siblings.

On the night of April 26, 1777, Colonel Ludington received word that the British were attacking Danbury, Connecticut, which was 25 miles from Ludington's home in New York State. Sybil Ludington went out to gather her father's troops and warn the countryside of the British troops’ incoming attack. She took a forty-mile route by horse, and riding through the pouring rain, shouted that the British were burning Danbury, and called for the militia to assemble at the home of Colonel Ludington. By the time Sybil had returned home from her ride, around four hundred men were assembled, ready to stop the British army.

Sybil Ludington was recognized for her heroic ride by the man who would become the first American President, General George Washington. She continued to help throughout the rest of the Revolutionary War as a messenger.

Bonus: she's white, so I'm sure no rightwingers would complain about having her replace...dunno, Jefferson?  Grant?


April 26, 8:42 PM in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thirty Years The Glow Seems Like Yesterday

Chernobyl still is dangerous.  I remember it, and the survivors I met, very well.  Claims about safe nuclear as part of our green future are laughable.


April 26, 6:36 PM in Biofuels, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)