Monday, August 23, 2004

Please Tell Me a Story - (by Email, book, or preferably in person)

Tell me a story or tell me your me a story or write me one please.

It's 3 in the morning and it's

Just you and me

Tell me your story we'll make it just fine. I'll listen to yours, you don't have to listen to mine.

Make something up. Make it happy or sad. Tell me that poem you know...sing me a song.

Read me a book or draw me a picture.

I'll wipe off the counter and restock the beer. It's just you, me and the clock ticking here.

Can I get you some coffee? Maybe a cup of warm milk?

Your looking a little spent so late in the day but I bet you know some things

that only you know. Tell them out loud, you sing a good song, write them all down

we'll all sing along.

Try clicking the "next blog" button at the top right of the page and see where you end up. Maybe Mexico, China, Japan, Kentucky, Paris or Saigon.

My goodness the humanity. The variation; mundane, sad, happy, weird, cute, nice, good writing, bad, no content, lot of content.

Leave me a comment, sing me a song, let's ride on this bus til night is all gone.




Sunday, August 22, 2004

Lewis - His Partner Clark Never Stop's By

Lewis - My next door neighbor.

He was glad that Rachel came home and gave him a nice warm car hood to sleep on. He likes to drink out of our birdbath, lay in the flower pots on the front porch, or in the tall grass in back. He's adopted us. He doesn't like you to get too close though. He's like a proud lion, only smaller.

I put another picture of Lewis here.

Which Side Are You On? (from Natalie Merchant)

Which Side Are You On?

(Florence Reece/ Stormking Music, Inc.(BMI))

come all you good workers
good news to you I’ll tell
of how the good old union
has come in here to dwell

which side are you on boys?
which side are you on?

my daddy was a miner
he’s now in the air and sun
he’ll be with you fellow workers
until the battle’s won

which side are you on boys?
which side are you on?

they say in Harlan County
there are no neutrals there
you’ll either be a union man
or a thug for J. H. Claire

which side are you on boys?
which side are you on?

oh workers can you stand it?
oh tell me how you can
will you be a lousy scab
or will you be a man?

which side are you on boys?
which side are you on?

don’t scab for the bosses
don’t listen to their lies
poor folks ain’t got a chance
unless they organize

which side are you on boys?
which side are you on?

From - Lyrics

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Laurie Anderson's Coming and We're Going to See Natalie Merchant

NASA Artist in Residence Laurie Anderson

I get to go see Laurie Anderson in Seattle. Really excited (which for me means I'm awake). She's been one of my favourite artists for some time. The album Big Science is fun to listen to. I love the song Let X = X

Lots of good songs on that album.

Laurie Anderson once did a street performance in NYC playing a violin, while wearing ice skates on a small block of ice. When the ice melted the show was over.

She's Lou Reed's paramour (not sure what that means..but I read it somewhere).

She also worked with some folks to design a musical instrument called a Talking Stick that emits sound when touched.


I'm also excited because Saturday I get to go see Natalie Merchant in Marymoor Park. Well I'm probably not going to just go see her, at least judging from the looks of this page showing a concert at Marymoor.

I hope I'm not the guy in that picture at Marymoor that's about a mile from the stage. Whatever. One time I went to an Allman Brothers concert in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. A friend had gotten us tickets and we were all excited because we thought they would be close in. They were on the very top row as far away from the stage as you could get. The good part was we sat with some friendly people who shared some Minnesota ditch weed and a big bag of miniature chocolate bars. The music was plenty loud and it was fun to sit up there with those peace filled people.

The album In My Tribe is so great. Runs the gamut from very sad/tragic "What's the Matter Here?" to the fun (and maybe sort of sad too) "Hey Jack Kerouac".

It will be interesting to see her perform solo...or rather without the band that made up the 10,000 Maniacs. I love to see her dance and sing when I've seen her on television. I can hardly wait. It's going to be cool.


Remembering Julie Child

monkey remembers julia child

Here's a good thought from Julie contained in a CNN article -

She loved food and loved the camaraderie that came with it. "Dining with one's friends and beloved family is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal," she said in the introduction to her seventh book, "The Way to Cook." "In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Fighting for a Cause - The Mission - Eric Hoffer True Believers - Harry Chapin Greyhound

Wondering about the need for people to fight for a cause. Does narrow minded religious belief, or true belief in any one philosophy or doctrine or ism, tend to lead to violence? To an us vs. them mentality?

I think the 1986 movie The Mission is worth watching on that topic. For me, the Jesuit's refusal to participate in violence was the most memorable part. It's an interesting movie. I'd like to see it again. It's sort of hard to find though. I read one comment saying, "you will hate Western civilization after watching this movie." Not sure about that but it's powerful.

The movie Brother Sun Sister Moon is not too bad. I thought it was great when I was younger...but it didn't hit me the same when I bought a copy a few years ago.

I can't answer for the idea that true believers end up sometimes hating to the point of violence. Sounds right though. Anytime we generalize people into a group rather than seeing them as individuals we probably run that risk.

All I can think is that people need to be educated. If someone hates Americans it's because they don't understand what an American is. America is a nation of immigrants (unless you happen to be a Native American), so basically America is you, regardless of your nationality. With all the faults you have and all the good things about you too.

Back to the point though I believe that if you consider people as individuals, rather than part of a group, it's a lot easier to see how those people can be brothers and sisters.

Not to say there aren't genuinely evil people, or groups of people, in the world. I like to think they are the exception, or aberration rather than the rule. 99.9% of the people you meet are good. Not that they are nice but I don't think truly evil/bad people are rampant in our society. I do think there are confused or brainwashed or ignorant people that don't understand the common nature of humanity. And some truly sick people who by fate of nature or nuture are cruel or evil.


Thinking about the danger of True Believers brings me back to the San Francisco Longshoreman Philosopher Eric Hoffer. He is great to read. There's a picture of him here at The Eric Hoffer Resource

He writes little nuggets of wisdom. He didn't have any formal education to speak of but was a tremendous thinker. For example these are some quotes from Eric Hoffer on hatred. Those quotes came from the Freedom Nest - Eric Hoffer Page


I cut the following out of a newsletter from the
Unitarian Universalist Church of North Hatley

There is a story told about Mahatma Gandhi: A woman came to the great teacher and implored him, "Tell my child to stop eating sugar." Gandhi replied "Come back next week." The next week the woman came back with the child and Gandhi told the child to stop eating candy. The woman asked, "Why couldn’t you have just told him that last week?" Gandhi replied, "Last week I was eating sugar."

This idea of not being a hypocrite comes through when Luke says,

"And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself"
Luke 4:23

On Staff With The Great Physician


I had an old Philosophy teacher named Reidar Thomte once. He used to use the phrase "pie in the sky when you die" a lot. The idea to me is that you have to find heaven or as close to it as you can on earth. Then have faith about what comes after that.

On the theme of living in the moment...

I really like from Harry Chapin are the lyrics to the song Greyhound. I used to love to ride the Greyhound when I was younger. Bought an Ameripass one time and just rode the bus around the country for the heck of it. Rode the Greyhound way up North into Canada. I liked to smoke and hang out on the bus and in bus depots. Something about them really appealed to me. Man I'm getting old. I can't imagine thinking riding a bus around would be fun. Maybe I should give it a shot.

We had a visitor from France a couple of summers ago who loved the Greyhound and America too. He was a young kid who had come over for a couple of summers and traveled around the country visiting and meeting new people via Greyhound.

The lyrics From Harry Chapin's Song "Greyhound" -

It's midnight at the depot
And I drag my bags in line.
Travellin' light, I got to go
But the bus won't be on time.
Everybody's looking half alive.
Later on the bus arrives.

They punch my ticket
I find a seat
And we move out past the lights.
Come on Driver, where's the heat?
It's cold out in the night.
I keep telling to myself that I don't care.
Come tomorrow, I'll be there.

Take the Greyhound.
It's a dog of a way to get around.
Take the Greyhound.
It's a dog gone easy way to get you down.

Tired of watching this night go by
So I look across the aisle.
The window's frosted, I can't sleep
But the girl returns my smile.
She reminds me of someone I knew back home.
So I doze. So it goes.

I'm wrinkled on my stool at the rest stop.
The waitress being cozy with the highway cop.
My coffee's tasting tired.
My eyes roll over dead.
Got to go outside and get the gas out of my head.
Oh, to be in bed.
You got me driving.
I'm on your Greyhound bus and you're driving.

But there's nothing new about Greyhounds.
Nothing new about feeling down.
Nothing new about putting off
Or putting myself on.

Looking to tomorrow is the way the loser hides
I should have realized by now that all my life's a ride.
It's time to find some happy times and make myself some friends
I know there ain't no rainbows waiting when this journey ends.

Stepping off this dirty bus first time I understood
It's got to be the going not the getting there that's good
That's a thought for keeping if I could.
It's got to be the going not the getting there that's good.

Thanks Harry Chapin. I got to see him play in a small auditorium one time. He was great.

I think the popular singer Norah Jone's song "Come Away With Me" catches a bit of that bus mystery.


Hope you get a good nights sleep whether you are on the bus or not...

Goodnight Moon

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Father Larry Gillick - Planning My 100th Birthday Party - Farmers Market - Unplanned Communities

I've been listening to this Audio Retreat every few days. The speaker is a Jesuit priest named Larry Gillick. He has a nice voice. It's relaxing to listen to him.


I've been planning my 100th birthday party this morning.

Thinking about a pinata full of pharmaceuticals for the birthday boy and his guests. Maybe some real U.S. drugs instead of the discount Canadian stuff.

The pinata is still under consideration. I'm not sure if I'll be able to swing a stick when I'm a 100. Maybe we'll make the pinata out of toilet paper so it falls apart easy or let the nurse break it for us. We don't want someone to put their eye out or have some old codger whacking a guest that he mistakes for a pinata.

My 100th birthday party budget depends on how the old retirement portfolio works out. The way things have been going I may be able to afford some street stuff, with some homemade and homegrown that people bring as gifts.

I'm doing a little ciphering and with my current return on investment, I should have about 600 dollars by the time I'm a 100 years old. Maybe a homemade cake (with some pharmaceuticals baked in) will be more in order.

I'm a little concerned that Bush and Clinton's plan to allow people to get out of social security and control their own destiny by investing in the stock market is going to cut into my balloon budget. We might have to blow up our own balloon(s). Maybe we will have some spare oxygen tanks to use, if the old lungs aren't up to it.

That's going to be a hell of a party. Or maybe a party in hell at the rate I'm going. I try and I try and I still do the wrong things. Good thing God still loves me. He'll keep me in a good spot.


What else is going on?

Big farmers market/street fair tomorrow in Marysville. They are celebrating the reopening of main street. Party on dude!

Marysville is a fairly good example of spontaneous development or an "unplanned community". What is an unplanned community you say?

A few years back I got to go to the Garlic Festival held by the Love Israel family up around Arlington. It was a really nice location. Nice people. Country Joe MacDonald (of Country Joe and the Fish) was singing there. The literature for the Love Israel people says they live in a "planned community". They had some plans to live in Yurts and other non-traditional housing until the Country "planning" board got wind of it. The Love family had a nice spot, in the mountains, a lake, central meeting area and houses around the perimeter.

Anyway a friend of mine and I were discussing what a "planned community" meant. He suggested it would be the opposite of a place like Lynnwood Washington. Not to say Lynnwood doesn't have it's good points but it's a sprawled out suburb of Seattle with no downtown. Mostly malls and strip malls.

I got a brochure somewhere that says, "discover Lynnwood". That would be an interesting trip. I've often tried to "discover Lynnwood", meaning figure out where the place called Lynnwood is.

Lynnwood is kind of no-place in some ways if you just drive around it or shop there. It doesn't have a downtown, a mainstreet, a core where you would find a court house, churchs, stores, library. I'm sure for people who grew up or live there it may be just the right place. A lot of times your interior sense of place is probably more key than the exterior surroundings.

I like to think about being on a vacation on a sunny beach...and then think about sitting on that beach wishing I was back home with my laptop in my recliner. Then I think "hey I'm at home on my laptop in my recliner." Good deal. I'm right where I want to be.

Ran into this Sprawl Guide: Solutions (Creating a Sense of Place)

It links to PCJ Article: "How to Mess Up a Town," by James Howard Kunstler

I read the Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler a few years back. He has some points. I think the reviewer comments on Amazon about that book are interesting to think about Geography Of Nowhere: The Rise And Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape.

I like the idea of creating quality living space in the city, small towns and countryside. Not sure if it has to be overly complicated. Maybe a backyard garden and a little more walking/biking and less driving if possible.


I can't be a purist. I like 7-11 and Arco. I like some little old stores too. Small bookstores, coffee shops, cafes, music stores....bars, surplus stores, shoe repair places, hardware stores, that kind of thing.

I was thinking about something one of my sisters told me after she had been on a trip to Paris. She said, "Jack you know what they could use over there in France?". I said, "No, what?"

She said "Safeway".

The point being that Safeway, even with it's evil Corporate empire side I like to bring up, is really a nice place to buy a huge variety of cheap good food. There are certainly more upscale grocery stores (like Larry's Markets where we live) but overall in a World-view sense being able to truck down to Safeway and buy fresh produce, fish, meat, a bazillion types of over the counter medicine etc. is quite a deal.

Maybe no one is a purist. At least recognizing that may keep one off the high horse. That high horse could hurt if you land on it wrong or get bucked off.


Looking forward to a good summer weekend. Watching some Olympics on TV, eating, cooking, seeing my family...chewing tobacco, drinking coffee, looking for pictures of naked people on the web - the usual.

Don't tell my wife. It's just a joke. No really it's just a joke. If I see any pictures of nekkid people I always cover my eyes. In fact I don't even look at myself naked. I always dress in the dark. I've never been skinny dipping or skinny fishing.

I'm okay with seeing animals unclothed except for certain monkeys with no manners.

People that put their dogs in pants or little sweaters just bug me...and I feel sorry for the dog. They probably feel really goofy when other dogs see them. Baily used to get a bandana from the lady who gave him a haircut. But it looked pretty sporty so I think he liked it.

When it comes to protecting us from gazing on the unadorned human form, I just thank God for John Ashcroft.

BBC News | AMERICAS | Curtains for semi-nude justice statue


Hope you had a great week and a weekend. Looking forward to some R&R or some better stuff if you can afford it. Take care of your self so you can take care of others...


Sunday, August 08, 2004

My New Toilet Seat

My new toilet seat.

All that blather about BushCheney got me thinking about the crapper. My wife and daughters brought me this toilet seat from Minnesota this summer. It's cool, it's got old lures embedded in the plastic. I installed it in the primitive man's bathroom in the basement this Saturday.

Not sure about you, but this picture makes me sort of dizzy.

That's better....

Here's what it looks like with lid down. Who says some Weblogs are full of crap?

Jim Hightower - "Thieves in High Places" - Walmart - Progressive Ideas

Finished Jim Hightower's Book - Thieves In High Places this morning. It's a good read. Very hopeful. Lot's of interesting facts and stories, some of them it's hard to believe (not that I think he would not tell the truth). Like Walmart taking out death insurance on employees and collecting it when they kick the bucket, but not giving it to the employees survivors heirs, but rather to the heirs of Sam, and the fatcats at Wallyworld.


No health insurance until you've worked there two years. Most employees of course don't work there two years since it's sub-living, non-union wages were talking about. Even if they do the health coverage is so inadequate that we (taxpayers) end up subsidizing Walmart when those poor blighters (Walmart calls them Associates) show up at community hospital emergency rooms. Can't blame them of course.

The good thing is a lot of communities, people and groups are getting wise to the de-construction of our Democracy by Corporations and beginning to organize at a grass roots level.

Walmart is even lowering the working conditions and wages in China for God's sake. They aren't the only Corporation of course, but they set the pace, since they are so huge. They are impacting wages/conditions of other unionized workers in our area (Safeway, Krogers) by their low ball tactics. My wife tells me a friend of her's at Safeway told her they are being told they (the cashiers) have to sweep the floors when they aren't busy...which would be like never. That way Safeway Inc. can keep a couple of shekels in it's tight little fists by not having to pay a janitor.


Corporations exist to make money. Period. They have no allegiance to people, countries, what is right or what is fair. They have to follow the law...which they create, since the courts ruled that money was a form of speech in the late 70's. How much talkin can an average wage earner do? Compared to the extra loud voices of the Fortune 500?

Small changes will make huge differences. Average Joe's won't take that long to see what freedoms are being (have been) lost, and we'll have a swing back to a more sane world. It's almost unbelievable to read about what Ashcroft, Bush, Cheney and Co. have been up to while people were distracted by the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I'm not too optimistic you will find out about the de-construction from MSNBCDisneyTimeWarnerAOL since they are all cut from the same Big Co. Inc. cloth. I think you could start getting the story with the links Jim Hightower has on his Chat and Do page.

Bumping up the Federal standard for vehicles miles per gallon would eliminate our dependence on the Persian Gulf Oil. Using Star Wars funding to research useful technology for generating power would be smart. Hiring unemployed or underemployed workers to weatherize people's houses would be a win win. Jim's got some great ideas. It won't be long before the people in this country turn the corner.

I'm not waiting for the new president although I think getting rid of the Bushites will be a start. This kind of change in the social contract won't come from above. The movement has started locally around kitchen tables, in stores, schools, bars, cafes and will eventually grow to a national level when we see candidates that reflect, understand and act according to the needs, desires and dreams of regular Americans. Too many people have given too much to safeguard our democracy, to let the Corporate interests take our freedom.

I don't want to go shopping. I want people to have living wage jobs and a prosperous large middle class and a country that takes care of those that can't take care of themselves. I don't want to hear about individualism or privatization. I want roads, schools, hospitals, parks, medicines, museums, and public spaces that are provided by a civil society for a civil society. Same as it always has matter what Small Bush or his Corporate cronies would like us to think.

Farmers Market and Quilts

Went to the local farmer's market today. Took home some nice flowers, beets, carrots, tomatoes and a free honeydew melon. Here's a few shots...

The market is down on the waterfront

Good gardeners and farmers are there.

Brought these home.

My wife picked up a few quilts at a kids camp benefit auction yesterday. The first one is a quilt made by the Red Hat Society for woman 50 and over - at Our Saviours Lutheran Church.

The second one was made by an 89 year old Swedish gentleman named Art Shoeffler who quilts to keep his arthiritic fingers moving.

The third one is called Mother's Rose made by a local artist/quilter Kathy Smith.

The last one is part of one my Mom made by hand.

Rain Makes Farmers Smile

MSNBC - Rain makes grain: Farmers have something to smile about

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Angel Wild Girl and Twinkly Lights in Backyard

A couple of pictures I took in my backyard about 10 minutes ago. The first is an Angel/Wild Girl made out of recycled materials, second is some twinkle lights on a walkway by the garage. It's a nice night.

Selden Ball's Home Page

Besides the "All I Need To Know" link I found these other links on

Selden Ball's Home Page.

Thanks go out to Selden for these good thoughts -

Slow Dance

A Good Friend

Around the Corner


The Wonder of Friends


Send a Wish to Microsoft Customer Service

Send A Wish to Microsoft Customer Service


I don't know how this wish thing works but I wished I hadn't spent so many hours trying to get Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 to work and that Microsoft didn't want me to pay them 35 dollars to trade emails with me about how they think I might get WMP 9 working (or 99 cents a minute if I wanted to talk to someone on the phone). Obviously that ain't gonna happen so I wished that I could get another small dog like our old dog Baily. I was thinking about wishing for a pony but I really don't have room for one in town. Just trying to be realistic.

Friday, August 06, 2004

All I Need to Know

All I Need to Know...

Good Friday to You - Kind and Gentle Reader

Wishing you a good Friday kind and gentle reader.

Hoping your recipe for this week included the right amounts of work, play, love and laughter.

I'm up nice and early. Really quiet now. Enjoying the first cup of coffee I siphoned off the drip coffee maker. It's a strong one. None of that ballerina water for me thank you very much.

A good cup of coffee is one of the simple pleasures isn't it? This particular cuppa I made from fresh ground dark roasted beans. I love the taste, smell and the way the coffee perks me up.

I don't subscribe to the idea that you can have too much caffeine from drinking coffee. I don't think any of my family does either. I remember my Gram asking for "just a half cup" as she got older and was having some high blood pressure. She'd end up drinking three or four half a cups as we sat around visiting. She was a good woman. I think the best one word I could think of to describe her is feisty. She had a strong sense of opinion on politics, a good knack for storytelling and liked to laugh. She also loved her family very much and was kind. Good combination.

I was lucky to have her around when I was a youngster. Living with a reading teacher helped me learn to love to read and think. I wish I could think like I used to. I have a touch of that CRS nowadays. Just kidding. I believe we have the opportunity to sharpen our minds and keep them sharp as long as we live.

One small thing that sticks in my mind that would describe my Gram for me was an incident in grade school with one of her students. I think I was a first grader and she was teaching sixth grade. I can't recall why but I happened to be going by the lunchroom in the basement of the school about 9 or 10 in the morning. I saw Gram sitting in the lunchroom with one of her students. He was eating a jam sandwich she or one of the cooks had made him. Upon further investigation I found, she thought he seemed hungry in class (or maybe he told her he was hungry) so she had taken him, and I guess left the rest of the students to read on their own, to get a jam sandwich. You can't read if you have to think about how hungry you are...She loved her students and her work, which made her really good at what she did.

I have been blessed with being around a variety of really good teachers in my lifetime. And a couple of insane (in not such a good way) ones. I won't bore you with those.

Being a teacher must be incredibly satisfying, knowing how important your role is in shaping young peoples outlooks. My wife is a pre-school teacher, as was her mother. She loves her little 3 and 4 year olds. They love her too.


We had a lunchroom when I was a kid. Now schools have cafeterias. We had a selections. One of my favorites was baloney, macaroni (no sauce) and tomato soup. That sounds kind of plain, but I liked it. I still remember scraping my plate into the big cans as we left. Those cans were then taken by a local farmer to slop his pigs. No waste. I'm guessing there is some rule about feeding food scraps to pigs these days. Or maybe it just isn't economically feasible to save scraps and feed pigs. I have no idea where pigs are raised where I live. I've never seen any. I've read about some huge pig feedlots in South Dakota and Iowa maybe. That must be where we get a lot of our pork now. The Corporation that runs that feedlot probably isn't going to drive to Washington to pick up food scraps from the school cafeteria. I'm not even sure if a Corporation can drive?


I finished the Jim Hightower book, If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates last night. It's not a very rosy picture Jim paints. Maybe I'll read Donald Trump's book or something by the GE guy to balance my brain. Maybe not. I kind of think Jim has hit the nail on the head in a lot of cases.

One of the most surprising things for me was the description of our politicians/government involvement in the sweatshops in Saipan. Basically people from Southeast Asia are shanghied to work in Saipan which is defined as a U.S. territory thereby eliminating any nasty tariffs while at the same time exempting the big Co's that run the sweatshops from U.S. labor laws or influence by labor unions.

The living conditions are terrible, bosses abusive and the people (mostly young women) are trapped on the island for years paying off their debt as indentured servants....just to make enough money to get back home.

The good thing is that young people in Colleges are recognizing this and forcing their college administration to not do business with the Companies participating. The level of awareness is trickling into the general consciousness (must be if it penetrated mine).

There are a fair number of jackass politicians who travel to sunny Saipan for paid holiday's/fact finding missions in the cold winter months in the U.S. They don't actually visit the sweatshops or barracks, but are instead given a tour of the island, golf courses etc. by the Corporate reps.

Old Jim recommends starting at the local level rather than trying to influence National politics. It's tough for me to read and think about the things he says that make the Democratic and Republican national parties, and candidates, just about the same when it comes to money grubbing to satisfy special interests rather than standing up for democracy. Nobody is going to talk about the sweatshops in Saipan this election year...or the outsourcing of American jobs, decline of the middle class, wage erosion due to creation of many service industry type jobs, while we lose family wage jobs to the low bidders in India, Malaysia, Phillipines or other countries that don't need to worry about health care, labor unions, government interference (OSHA or other nit picky stuff).

I shouldn't have said no politician is going to talk about any of the real challenges our country faces, but I could say no national politician is going to change that, unless that change aligns with the Corporate agenda. They might pay some lip service to it, but can't afford to change it. Otherwise they couldn't afford to run for office and they most certainly would never get any legislation past Congress...since most of those blighters are on the same meal ticket.

Maybe in the future things will circle back to where our country once was a true democracy. I think it's inevitable once the vast silent majority gets sparked.

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in some of the activity (parades, marches and listening to speeches...none of the violence thankfully) that came about when the WTO convention was held in Seattle in November 1999. It was very hopeful to see the coalition of real people that came together to just say no. It was very hopeful. Teamsters and Greenpeace...AFLCIO, international labor reps speaking. Regular Joes getting together to listen.

Around that same time, in February/March 2000, I got to participate in one of the largest and longest professional union strikes in history. It was great. I loved standing around those burn barrels. It was also great to get back to work since I'm a little to hyper to spend a lot of free time without the focus I get from the salary thing.

The future's so bright I gotta wear shades. What an exciting time to be a young student...primed up to change things. Lot's of energy and idealism.


I’m really a firm believer, or try to be at least, in St. Paul’s advice to the Phillipians -

"Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

This guy has some thing to say about Saint Paul and this site has some positive
Apple Seed Good Thoughts

I believe it’s best to not get too carried away on one thing or on one track, but just for the heck of it though I like to browse through things like this The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid.

PS. Now that I read a little bit of that "conspiracy" page and noticed Rush Limbaugh linked to it, my bullshit detector just went off. Something smells funny. I thought it was a populist site from the title, but it looks like someone getting paid to promote an agenda. Or at best someone with a confused sense of reality promoting a single minded overly simplistic conspiratorial view of the world that appeals to overly simplistic conspiracy minded __________ (fill in whatever label is appropriate in your world view.) I'll use "jackasses" in keeping with my own complex non-conspiratorial view of reality :-)

I gotta get back to charm school now.


It's zucchini time where I live. I have a big fat zucchini sitting on the counter someone at work gave me. I'm hoping it turns into chocolate zucchini cake soon. Those cakes are so good and moist.

I don't know the recipe. I just know how surprised I was to have my first bite of one. You can't taste the zucchini at all, it just gives the cake texture and moisture. I have to be extra nice to the baker this weekend, see if I can get that cake.

There's a Blog devoted to Chocolate & Zucchini. Wonder what else you can make besides the cakes with chocolate and zucchini?


We had an amber alert where I work this week.

Not really. That's just what a friend said to me after a can of pop froze and exploded in one of the community refrigerators.

Someone left a can of soda in the freezer overnight and it exploded. It was one of those little mini fridges, with the freezer on top. There isn't any door on the freezing compartment so the pop blew out into the main fridge onto the door, on people lunch bags, basically all over.

I'm not naming any names. I'll plead the fifth. We had some laughs over it. It doesn't take much to entertain me. My wife told me I should have said really loudly, "who the hell left that can of pop in the I can't believe some people." I just quietly did my best to wipe up the spillage and shared my little secret with a few associates, who think goofy human things are funny.

I forgot about that can of pop even though I had made a little sign for my desk that said "Pop's In The Freezer" to remind me...and also so I could write "We Should Let Him Out" and put it on a friends desk. I changed the sign to "Pop's in the Refrigerator" after the unfortunate explosion.

At least it was diet pop.

Some people never change.


I was reading some not so good reports about the water level in the Jefferson River. Also reading some interesting stuff about making water into a commodity to sell to the highest bidder. That will be interesting if the global climate changes result in populated areas having real water shortages. The article was talking about some place in California where they wanted to buy water by the super-tanker from Canada. The Canadians weren't so sure they wanted to sell that much water given the potential impact on the eco-system. It'll be interesting to see how water rights get settled if it becomes more than an agricultural issue, considering the controversy that has brought about over the years. Hard to envision when people need water for drinking/bathing/cooking particularly if it's being sold for profit.

Trading water, like they were doing with electrical power futures, was one of Enron's future brainstorms before that house of cards fell in. Maybe just a matter of time.

I guess we can always buy Dasini or Aquafina. Who would have ever thought Coca Cola or Pepsi Co. could sell us water for more than water mixed with sugar and flavorings?

Hey that reverse osmosis costs money buddy! It isn't just tap water you know.

I got to visit the local water supply and treatment plant with my kids elementary school one time. We have great water right out of the tap, from a high mountain lake called Spada Lake.

I also got to spend a bit of time in India where there was often no running water and I couldn't drink anything out of a tap if there was one. Too many little floaty things for my digestive system.

Off shore indeed. No pesky taxes to contend with to provide a public, clean supply of water.


I read the story of Job a couple of nights ago. It made me appreciate the ministry. I need someone to tell me that story in a shortened simple form. I can't follow the whole thing. I did figure out Job had a lot, lost it all, and then got it back. There's a lot of wrangling around with Job, his advisors, God and the devil that I can't keep up with. I think the moral was that God wouldn't throw anything at you with out giving you the ability to cope with it. I can't figure out why Job was picked, because he seemed like a good guy, unless the point is that God did him a favor by causing all the miserable things that happened to him and then allowing him to live to be a wise old man.

I should probably stay out of the Old Testament without a guide.


One last thing...

I was working with a new person who will be coming into our group yesterday. Actually he's a new old person. Probably will retire in a few years. Really nice guy, quiet, calm, thoughtful, smart. We were at a discussion/meeting about something he will be working on in his new job with us. He didn't know much about it.

But he said with a big smile on his face, "I learned something today."

That's great. What a good attitude. We can always learn something. Very hope filled.


Hope you have some sun, rain if you need it, learning and laughter this week and always.

I hear some rain on my roof right now...we need it.