Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Another Jack and I were having a conversation about sheep over Thanksgiving. At one time in his life he raised sheep, now he grows grapes.

The town I grew up in, Columbus Montana in it's earlier days (late 1800's) was known as Sheep Dip. They grew a lot of sheep in that area and shipped a lot of wool out on the railroad.

I probably owe my existance to sheep in a way.

My paternal grandfather immigrated from Norway when he was a teenager in the early 1900's. He worked as a sheepherder and eventually bought his own ranch in the Ingomar, Montana area. They grew a lot of sheep in that area at one time. He moved from that dryland farm to a smaller irrigated place in Huntley Project in the 1950's. Later he moved out to Kirkland Washington, when he retired. He liked the water out here in Seattle, reminded him of Norway.

A few odds and ends about sheep -

The people I know who have raised sheep never seemed to think of them as good for eating. Not sure why that is; if they look at them as woolgrowers or maybe had a bad piece of old mutton at one time. Jack tells me that when you butcher a sheep any part of the meat that is touched by the wool will taste bad.

Sheepherders monuments used to be a fairly common sight in Montana. There's a nice description of sheepherders monuments at The Fence Post.

There are (or were) people who castrate a sheep with their teeth. And you thought you had a tough job?

Reedpoint Montana has the annual 'Running of the Sheep' Sheep Drive on Labor Day. Reedpoint is also the home of the Watering Hole Saloon. I knew the guy that used to own that place. It was a good bar, nice friendly people. A little wild maybe at times. My old boss T.P. told me when they built that place they deliberately made the chairs our of heavy logs so people couldn't pick them up and hit each other. Ahhhhh the good old days.


I guess the thing that I appreciate the most is having the opportunity to be around, listen and see some of the rural and agricultural parts of life. I feel sorry for people who have never gotten out of an urban area. They probably feel sorry for an old hick like me...so there you go.

Wendell Berry has some interesting points on that topic -

"I AM NOT SUGGESTING, of course, that everybody ought to be a farmer or a forester. Heaven forbid! I am suggesting that most people now are living on the far side of a broken connection, and that this is potentially catastrophic. Most people are now fed, clothed and sheltered from sources toward which they feel no gratitude and exercise no responsibility. There is no significant urban constituency, no formidable consumer lobby, no noticeable political leadership, for good land-use practices, for good farming and good forestry, for restoration of abused land, or for halting the destruction of land by so-called “development”.

We are involved now in a profound failure of imagination. Most of us cannot imagine the wheat beyond the bread, or the farmer beyond the wheat, or the farm beyond the farmer, or the history beyond the farm. Most people cannot imagine the forest and the forest economy that produced their houses and furniture and paper; or the landscapes, the streams and the weather that fill their pitchers and bathtubs and swimming pools with water."

Source: http://resurgence.gn.apc.org/issues/berry198.htm


Since I'm rambling about animals in Montana. I guess I will touch on another critter that I used to see when I was a pre-schooler. Most people have never seen a wild hippopotmus in Montana.

The old road to Billings went alongside the Yellowstone River. There was a point in the river with some large smooth rocks that were brown and shiny from the water passing over them. In my minds eye those rocks looked just like some hippos. The first time I noticed them I was excited - "Hey look everybody there's some hippos in the river!"

After that initial sighting my Gram and other family members used to like to ask me if I saw the hippos when we passed that spot. I'd look really hard and most every time I'd see them down there in the river. Unless the river was frozen over of course.


I have to wrap this up, but something that sounded pretty darn appealing to me again as I thought about on my way to work yesterday was the thought of a solo trip around the USA. A Travels With Charlie kind of trip with a dog and a nice motorized vehicle. Lots of time to stop and poke around.

At this stage of my life I'd like to make it a comfortable trip. Maybe in a nice car and decent places to sleep. That might run into a fair chunk of change if you did it for a few months. Maybe a small pickup, that got good mileage, and a comfortable small camper you could crawl into when you got tired. Something you could easily drive in urban/crowded cities as well as get out on the open road in and camp beside a good fishing spot and sit out beside a campfire.

Maybe I could spot some hippos.

Thomas-Distributing - Rechargeable Battery Supply

Thomas-Distributing is a good place, in my estimation, for buying rechargeable batteries and chargers.

I ordered 8 Maha NiMH AA batteries and a charger from them recently. The NiMH batteries last much longer in my digital camera than the expensive Duracell batteries I was buying and then throwing away.

Only problem was that one of the new NiMH batteries wouldn't charge. I wrote an email to Thomas Distributing and a customer service representative named Tammie quickly replied that a replacement battery is on it's way, I can dispose of the one defective battery.

That's good service.

If you need a battery I'd recommend Thomas Distributing.


Thomas Distributing is in Paris.

Paris Illinois USA. Looks like a nice place - About Paris, Illinois

Sunday, November 28, 2004

12 Pictures of Christmas Things Around The House


Santa Kicking Back

Table of Christmas Things

Zippy Lights

Wooden Tree

Sparkly Double Weeping Cherry

Got My Lights Up This Weekend

Nissas Sharing a Joke

Katsura Dressed For Winter

Blue Santa



Saturday, November 27, 2004

Westport Washington Pictures

Small Whale

Fisherman's Memorial Westport

Discovery - Tuna Charter Boat - Approaching

Discovery - Tuna Charter Boat - Docking

Watercolorized Pacific Sunset

They Were Glad to See Me

Cartoon of Westport Marina

Headed Home

Thursday, November 25, 2004

And a Lamp To LIght Your Way


Moon 5


White Room

Electric Butterfly

Magic Carpet

And a Lamp To Light Your Way

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Origami Boulder Company

So much time so little to do....

Origami Boulders appear to be easy to make, however these are art and come with a haiku.

If your home is a little too full of art, you can request the performance art option for an additional 3 bucks and the artist will toss the origami boulder in his wastebasket.

Work Humor

The main page at Work Hate says

"What better way to spend a Friday at the office than browsing Work Hate."
The Guardian

I think there is some funny stuff going on.


"I've got all the money I will ever need if I die by four o'clock this afternoon"

Henry Youngman

"Anyone who lives with in their means suffers from a lack of imagination"

Oscar Wilde

I must give credit for my finding these quotes to the author of Ramblings of a Redhead. Using the random "next blog" button I found Ramblings an interesting Blog written with a sense of humor.

Random Pictures

Not much writing today, just a random collection of photos. I'm using Hello and Picasa to post these. Like all of my photos they are not technically great, they just show some person or color or location or oddness that appeals to me. I thought they might to someone else as well.

Beach Glass - Orcas Island

Kite - Newport Oregon

Big Sky Country

Hello - One of our buddies

I'm oddly proud of the fact that I ran coax through this old place.
Not sure how I'd live without cable, DSL, and the wireless router.

Golden Gate

Minnesota Pump

Columbus Merry Go Round

Old Fixture in Our House

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Few Jokes

I ran across lately...


This one is a quote from an episode of King of the Hill, not exactly a joke but a funny line -

RAY: You ever hear of a guy named Jack?
HANK: Well, I went to high school with a guy named --
RAY: No, no, this guy never went to school, he grew up in the hills. But he wrote the book on homemade bait. 'Course it's just a bunch of scribbles 'cause he never went to school.


And a couple of horse jokes -

A blonde decides to try horseback riding,
even though she has had no lessons or prior experience.
She mounts the horse unassisted and it immediately
springs into motion.

It gallops along in a steady and rhythmic pace,
but the blonde begins to slide from the saddle.
In terror, she grabs the horse's mane but cannot
get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around
the horse's neck but she slides down its side anyway.

The horse gallops along oblivious to its slipping rider.
Finally, giving up her frail grip, she leaps
away from the horse to try and throw herself to
safety. Unfortunately, her foot has become
entangled in the stirrup. She is now at the mercy
of the horse's pounding hooves as her head is
struck against the ground over and over.

As her head is battered against the ground, she
is mere moments away from unconsciousness
when, to her great fortune the Wal-Mart manager
sees her...and unplugs the horse.


What Happened in Texas?

A cowboy rode into town and stopped at a saloon for a drink. Unfortunately, the saloon's regulars had a habit of picking on strangers. When the cowboy finished his drink and left the saloon, he found that his horse had been stolen. He went back into the bar, handily flipped his gun into the air, caught it above his head without looking, and fired a shot into the ceiling. "Which one of you sidewinders stole my horse?" he yelled forcefully. No one answered. "All right, I'm gonna have another drink, and if my horse ain't back outside by the time I finish, I'm gonna do what I done in Texas! And I don't wanna have to do what I done in Texas!" Some of the locals shifted restlessly. The cowboy, true to his word, had another drink and walked outside, to find that his horse had been returned to its post. He saddled up and prepared to ride out of town. The bartender followed the cowboy out of the bar. "Say partner, before you go," the bartender asked nervously, "what happened in Texas?" The cowboy turned back and said, "I had to walk home."

She Finished The Dishes and Decided to Take a Nap

I'd like to use those words in a story sometime.

Maybe I'll edit them a little -

She finished the dishes and decided to take a nap before starting dinner.

She finished the dishes and decided to take a nap.

She decided to take a nap.

I like that last one.

We have what are called "affinity groups" at work. I was thinking about starting one for people who like to take naps. Jack's nap club. Would you like to come over to my house and sit in a recliner or lay on a couch and take a nap? Maybe you take the recliner and I'll go lay down in bed? Whatever works for you. Maybe a noontime nap? Afternoon siesta?

I can't sleep at my desk, or generally sitting up anywhere (except in my recliner). No sleeping on an airplane for me. I've known a couple of people who could sleep sitting up at their desks. I guess you either are born with that skill or not.

My opinion of naps has changed over the years. I liked them okay in kindergarten. Having my blanket and my friends to talk to was nice. As I aged I started to hate not only naps but pretty much sleep in general. Sleeping seemed like a waste to me.

I had a college roommate as a freshman who was a football player. He was a pretty big guy. Not just muscular but heavy. He would take a nap after supper. I thought that was so uncalled for...I'd look down my nose at him, thinking what a lazy bum. There's all this partying/studying/talking/laughing to do and you go to sleep?

Now I like naps. I can take multiple naps on the weekend. I can nap in the evening. I take a nap before work. I love it.


That discussion of the words for a story, which then devolves into a discussion of me, reminds me of something I've noticed myself doing that I would like to knock off (at least a little).

It's my "it's all about me" outlook. If someone says something to me I use the autobiographical response mode a little too much sometimes. Not quite as bad as this but something like -

Joe says, "I found out I have to have a heart bypass."
Jack, "Oh?"
Joe, "It's a triple bypass."
Jack, "I hit a triple in peewee baseball one time."
Joe, "They are doing an angiogram first. I have to be awake for it."
Jack, "I had some nitrous oxide once, it tasted like bubble gum."

Sort of like that.


Have you ever taken a karate class?

I did once. Literally once (or maybe it was twice). It's been a long time. Me and a friend from Boston named Howie were stationed in Pennsacola Florida at a base that had Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force people. They were all young, pretty, smart, types (with the exception of me, Howie and a few others). It was the electronic warfare school. They teach cryptography, signal identification stuff at that school.

Howie and I signed up for an after-hours karate class. It turned out there was a lot of stretching involved and not so much "hai karate!" board-breaking type stuff. We got bored quick. So did two attractive Air Force girls. The details must be kept short to protect the innocent, but in lieu of going to class we started hanging out at the beach and having drinks and stuff with those girls. The highlight (for me) of that relationship was the time we rented a motel room.

And all four of us jumped on these big beds. I don't mean we jumped on them and layed on them or anything. We jumped up and down on them like little kids. It was fun.


Those days in Pensacola were nice. Beautiful area.

One other short Navy story. When people got in trouble at that base the punishment was to stand gate guard duty. You had to stand at the car entrance gate in a little shack and come out and make sure cars coming through had a pass. You also had to be in dress uniform and give the driver a snappy salute.

One of my friends used to catch local lizards and put them on top of his hat while he was greeting people at the gate. He (and we) thought it was funny to be looking so official and have a lizard on top of your head.


I had a roommate down there who was a really nice guy, but obsessed. He kept everything neatly arranged. I don't mean just neat, but really neat, to the point of having his clothes hung a certain distance apart in his closet. Another friend of mine used to move one thing on Steve's desk or move a hanger a half inch in his closet...so we could see how long it would take him to notice when he got back to the room. Generally it was within a minute or so.

They were both good guys. You could have a lot worse traits then being too neat.


Had some great times in Pennsacola. One time Howie and some of us spiked a watermelon with Everclear (high proof grain alcohol). We were at the beach or jumping on beds in a Motel room...I forget. Anyway we didn't finish the watermelon. I put it in the trunk of my old car after the party for us to finish later.

After sleeping it off and getting back to the base I had to leave town for a couple of weeks using Navy transportation. Forgot all about that watermelon. If you've never smelled a watermelon that's been sitting in the trunk of a car in the Florida sunshine for a couple of weeks...let me tell you. It smelled like something had died. Bad smell. Very bad, and hard to get out of that car.


That car reminds me of another little tale..or two.

I had it in the Great Lakes Naval Station. I packed my stuff out of the dorm I lived in to move to San Diego. I'd filled the backseat and passengers side of my car with my stuff the night before in preparation to take off. The car was parked in an area that had public access.

When I went down to get in my car early in the morning there was a guy inside (with a coat hanger beside him that he'd used to jimmy open the lock) rifling through my belongings. He was blocked from getting out of the passenger side because of the stuff I'd packed.

I was approaching the car from the back, and he didn't see me, so I just moved to the drivers door and tapped on the window and said something like "you're screwed buddy." He was a skinny little runt. I calmed myself down and called to a guy I saw in the parking lot to call the police, I'd caught someone burglarizing my car.

To make a long story short when the police showed up they let the guy go. He hadn't stolen anything (yet) and the fact that he had a coat hanger wasn't sufficient proof to show he'd broken into my car. Or maybe just breaking into a car isn't a crime in North Chicago. I guess he was lucky...and me too that he didn't have a gun. North Chicago has some sort of unsavory characters out on the streets sometimes.


That was quite a trip West from Chicago. It was around Thanksgiving. I was driving across South Dakata in that old Maverick. It was a pretty good car. 302 V8 with good power. Only problem was it had a lot of rust. It was fine transportation though (except for the faint smell of rotten watermelon). My younger sister inherited that car, and named it the "blue mamoo".

Back to South Dakota. It was cold. I kept getting slight indications of gas line freeze-up even while driving. The car would start to die a little. It was exciting. South Dakota in the winter can be an inhospitible somewhat desolute place.

The weather that day was crazy. It started out around freezing and it rained. The pavement was perfectly black and perfectly slick. There were semis, cars and even highway patrol cars in the ditches. There were cows who died because of the rain that froze and stuck to them. Freeky weather.

I remember driving by a highway patrolman who had gotten out to help someone and seeing him slip on the pavement as he walked to their car. I think I might have had studded tires on that car...either that or I was lucky as hell.

I ran out of money for some reason in Eastern Montana and traded a guy a tool kit for a tank of gas....ahhhh the good old days.


I saw an article that chronic back pain causes your brain to shrink up to 20%. Verified by MRI scans so they say.


First the tofu shrunk my brain, now the back pain.

Crap. My brain is like a BB in a boxcar as it is. Just rattling around like a dried up pea. Just wonderful. The straw stuffing is coming out of me and now I have to live with a shrunken brain?

I'm telling myself I never had chronic back pain...or that much tofu. Yeah that's it. The drinking, drug use...gas and glue sniffing, tofu, that wasn't so bad on the old brain.


I got to hang around and work with, a wild guy in India for a while. He was pretty much an alcholic I guess. Whatever that means. He was really smart in a street-smart and technical can-do sort of way.

Fascinating story teller. He told me he found jobs all over the world in Trade a Plane (it's a plane selling magazine). He had worked internationally as a technician/trouble shooter, liaison, consultant. Year's before I met him he had worked in come capacity for Air America. I'm not sure if his background was in the military or not. He was interesting. That's a tough life though. He lived in hice Hotels, but didn't have much recreational activity other than drinking...working, and maybe some sight seeing.

He used to say he hoped the last two brain cells he had would reproduce. He also had a saying about not wanting to be in a room taking up valuable oxygen (in reference to wasting time). He was cool. Jesse. One time we walked around New Delhi looking at the sights. I remember the air was so thick with pollution it made my lungs hurt. We were joking that it was a bad sign when we saw some big black birds that looked like vultures circling overhead...maybe we would die in New Delhi.

You could buy long strips of prescription medicines like Valium in India without a prescription. Jesse or his wife would always share.

I met a pilot in the middle east once. He was a professional traveling pilot who did special work all over the world. He was pretty wild too. We were talking about how he would smuggle a bottle of whiskey under his seat into some countries where you couldn't buy booze. They never searched the cockpit.

He was actually above the retirement age when I met him. Commercial transport pilots have to retire at 60 under FAA rules. Heck of a nice guy. And really interesting. I got to fly on board some training flights with him.

He told me he had a special charter flying mission once to bring some heads of state to a meeting. He had three "bad guys" on his jet. I mean like Khadafi, Amin and Saddam...not saying that was the three, but it was three internationally known bad guys.

Anyway he told me he thought hard about auguring into the ground. He thought he would be doing the world a favor.


Pope John reportedly said "any day is a good day to be born and any day is a good day to die."

This writing from Saint Jerome's University has a longer quote -

It was Blessed John XXIII who once said that any day is a good day to be born and any day is a good day to die. I think you can only say that with faith and hope. Gravely ill at the time, Pope John hastened to reassure his doctors and told them not to worry that they were bringing him bad news about his cancer. "I always have my bags packed," he said with a smile.


Not much else going on in the old Cafe this morning. Just drinking some coffee and laughing and thinking to myself.

Rachel got home from College last night. Sure is good to see her. She's really taking to the school life. Lots of things to learn and people to meet. Life is good.


I hope I never lose my sense of wonder.

But if I do I hope I can meet some people to help me get it back.

Maybe a baby or a little kid? Old person, a special person, a shaman, holyman or woman....maybe a little dog.


Saturday, November 20, 2004

Friday, November 19, 2004

Is Walmart Good For America?

I got the bulk of this information from watching PBS - Frontline: Is Walmart Good for America?


Walmart/China 36 USA 3

We lost that one.

In the Port of Long Beach California alone Walmart/China imports into the US, 36 billion dollars a year of consumer products such as machinery, shoes, toys, and clothing.

The USA exports 3 billion dollars a year of raw materials like cotton and gets back clothing. Exports hides and gets back shoes. Exports scrap metal and gets back machinery. Exports containers of waste paper and gets back cardboard boxes with products inside

We had a 120 billion dollar trade deficit with China last year.

We bought into a myth of an enormous and growing China market. Problem was that Americans had income, Chinese consumers don't.

Circleville Ohio is a small community whose main source of livelyhood was consumer electronics. Thomson in 1999 produced about 10 million pieces for TV's and employed 1000 workers in this small town. Good manufacturing jobs. Paying workers 50K or so per year. In 2003 they lost the Sanyo contract because Walmart cut prices forcing Sanyo (who bought glass from Thomson in Circleville) to move to a Chinese supplier.

Last May Thomson shut the Circleville Ohio plant down. Walmart on the other hand is building a store next door....you can make 8 bucks an hour with crappy benefits vs. the 16 bucks Thomson paid.

Five Rivers a maker of high end big screen TV's, is a good supplier of American jobs located in Greenville Tennessee. They brought a suit against TCL/China for dumping high end TV's below cost in the US. Walmart fought against Five Rivers essentially supporting the export of those Greenville jobs to China. Five Rivers won the case.

Brink Lindsey thinks Walmart is good for America. They provide cheap consumer goods that customers want to buy.

Problem is we are not just consumers we are workers who need to earn a living wage. I venture to guess Brink Lindsey didn't grow up in a town like Circleville Ohio where the main source of living wage jobs was exported to China.

Without living wage jobs in the USA we won't be able to purchase things regardless of where they were manufactured.

It would be worth considering the mentality that more and cheaper is best and we can "free trade" our way to success.

Assume somehow we raise the level of income worldwide to somehow approximate that of the average worker in the U.S.

The planet will not sustain the American level of affluenza. It will not be possible to export the American consumer model to the rest of the world. Earth will not sustain that kind of growth model. Most of the items we are talking about are heavily dependent on petro-chemicals; plastics, fertilizers, fuel...all come from petroleum.
Many of the items we are talking about in the consumer electronics world are not recyclable.

Two things are immediately wrong with that model - (a) not enough oil and (b) burning that oil..assuming the rest of the world gets into the American one car per/person mode accelerates pollution and global warming.

I don't know what the answer to this is. I do think it's ludicrous to say that we are losing some high wage jobs but it's a net wash, because they are being replaced by "knowlege worker" jobs or some other non-manufacturing "thinking", "marketing" kind of occupation.

Fact of the matter is there are people who are best suited to manufacturing type jobs. Not everyone wants to, can, or should; be what is popularly called a "knowledge worker". I take that term "knowledge worker" to mean someone whose occupaton is in the mode of the BASF slogan, "we don't make a lot of the products you buy we make a lot of the products you buy better." or maybe "we don't make a lot of the products you buy, we sell them". Problem is not everyone can be a salesman.

Probably aren't going to make Will who makes parts using a lathe into Will the guy from marketing. Nor would we want to.

Complex stuff, no easy answers. Probably the best you can do is make sure you and your children are educated and flexible, willing and ready to work in a global economy. No amount of protectionism or ranting is going to stop this train.

I still don't think Walmart is good for America. But so what? You think their bottom line will be impacted. Hellll no. In their world they are doing us a favor by providing us cheap goods (thereby in their words - raising our standard of living). I guess the Walmart definiton of the good life is how much crap you have collected. I sort of doubt if the parking lot at our local Walmart will be any less full tomorrow.

Have You Ever Noticed?

How sometimes when you profess some thing it really means just the opposite is true?

I think that's why some people have such a hard time with people who are "saved". We know we aren't perfect. We are human creatures, always a work in progress.

If I come across as someone who is not a sinner please accept my regrets. I consider myself someone who is trying to get better. In some sense we are all in recovery.

Were all sinners and yet all saints. Don't ask me how that works I just accept it.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Sounds so simple. But how hard. Loving yourself so so hard. Thinking of my past, reminds me of the Randy Newman song Guilty where he sings -

You know, you know how it is with me baby
You know, I just can’t stand myself
And it takes a whole lot of medicine
For me to pretend that I’m somebody else

Then the challenge of loving your neighbor. Especially that less than lovable neighbor.

One thing I can console myself with is that "loving" in this sense doesn't mean romantic love or sometimes even being "nice".

I love my kids but I'm not always "nice". You have to stand up for, and communicate, what you think is right. Sometimes disagree, sometimes agree. Try to do it in an agreeable way...but that isn't always possible.

One philosophy I live by is "if you play nice I'll play nice." As I age I have more patience with people who aren't playing nice before I bring out the not nice persona. In a sense this philosophy leads me to conclude that the fact that I punch someone in the nose (not literally these days..more like a verbal punch) doesn't mean I don't love them...just that they had it coming.


I'm still working on it.

In my rambling way I was thinking about people who profess, for example, to be hard workers, or good lovers or really smart.

Generally speaking it seems like just the opposite may be true. Sort of a The lady doth protest too much, methinks deal.

Ten Easy Pieces - Jimmy Webb

I'm waiting for Ten Easy Pieces by Jimmy Webb to come in the mail.

He wrote a lot of popular songs back in the day; Wichita Lineman, By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Galveston and MacArthur Park to name a few.

I love to get stuff in the mail.


Speaking of easy pieces - Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson was one of my top ten movies when it came out. It's the movie where he plays an oil worker, with the scene of him playing the piano in the back of a pickup, and the great "chicken salad sandwich" scene in the cafe.

I really like a lot of Jack Nicholson's work; beginning with Easy Rider back in 1969. Great tunes in that movie.

The Last Detail made in 1973 is another favorite Jack movie of mine. Love the scene in the bar where the bartender threatens to call the shore patrol.

Too many to mention. What a career. One of my other favorite Jack Nicholson scenes is in Goin' South where he's in the mine and tells Mary Steenburgen with a glimmer in his eye, "I can do this allll day long....all day long." Funny stuff.


It's Friday! A good Friday as always. I'm glad the week is wrapping up and looking forward to Thanksgiving next week.

Going to a friends 50th birthday celebration tomorrow and seeing an old friend of ours from Minnesota on Sunday.

He's worked most of his life as a farmer and is now taking some time to travel as well as build his dream home. He's full of stories and fun. Had some really tough things happen to him, but he's come through it all okay.

Google Search: man am I full of it

We have a winner!

"O man", that hate-filled lunatic hiding in the desert, is number 1 in the -

"Google search term of the day contest"

I just made up.

Todays search term is "man am I full of it".

Google Search: man am I full of it

Aljazeera you say? I'm more partial to good old NBC Saturday Night Live - Osama bin Laden P.R. Meeting

Frontline: is Wal-Mart good for America? | PBS

Video Available this Friday Online.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Summon Out What I Shall Be

Those words come from a hymn/prayer/chant written by John L. Bell. It's a simple song.

Take oh take me as I am
Summon out what I shall be
Set your seal upon my heart
And live in me.

John L. Bell,
Iona Community Peace Institute

You can listen to the song here.

I was lucky to be able to participate in a retreat at Holden Village several years ago where this song was sung. We were in a beautiful chapel in the mountains at night. This song was part of an Advent service, the chapel was dark except for one candle which was used to light the candle of each of the participants while this song was sung. It was very moving.

I highly recommend Holden Village if you ever get a chance to visit. Nice people and good food, in a beautiful remote setting in the Cascade mountains.


Last night I heard Ken Tucker on NPR Fresh Air comment that Universal United House of Prayer - Buddy Miller "harks back to a time before singing about Jesus and giving yourself over to a higher power was hijacked by the politicized Christian right".

Something rings true about that.

Here's a link to the NPR Review of Buddy Miller's 'House of Prayer'

I want to get the CD.

I like the cover picture too.

I was thinking when I was at Holden how cool it was that there were so many different kinds of people there. Gay, straight, wounded, healing, in recovery...you name it. For me that's what Christianity is about...we are all in this together.

Monday, November 15, 2004

I Had a Dream I Was Flying Over a Village

I had a dream I was flying over a village
that appeared in the night in the living room

Sun is coming up

The chief and chieftess live on the hill

I see life in the village

The green turtle comes to greet me

I see the bus

The bus is coming for me

The bus is here

I must be off

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Mr. T Versus The Governator

I pity the poor fool.

Mr. T Versus The Governator

I found that at Mr.T vs Everything.

Sometimes I'm pretty sure some part of my personality got stuck at about 12.

Making something like Mr T vs Cows seem oh so funny.

No cows were hurt in this episode.

I need to quit wasting so much time on the internets.

Goog night now...

I mean good night now.

Lost Frog

You can click on the picture at ps. i'll find my frog for more coverage.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

noodle pie

noodle pie has lot's of nice pictures and interesting stories about good food in Vietnam. Plus quite a few links to other food related sites that are fun to look at. It's a creation of Graham Holliday a professional writer who lives in Saigon.

NPR : Susan Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Recipe

I've had this (or a version of this) Cranberry Relish somewhere. Can't recall where. Maybe in a dream, but I'd swear I've had cranberry relish the pink color of Pepto Bismal that had horseradish in it. I think it's pretty good from what I remember. I bet it would be good on a roast beef sandwich.

Hi Monkey has a several pictures of the relish in monkey's happy thanksgiving! montage. Monkey also has a picture of some garlicky nadjifka; not sure what that is but it looks tasty. And a nice looking big dumpling...yummmm.

ps. "garlicky nadjifka" is a Googlewhack.

pps. "nadjifka" returns a single site too. Something's going on that not too many people (actually no people, just one terrycloth monkey) know about.

Nadjifka you say?

I love it!


Have you ever repeated a phrase many times for the "comedic" effect?

I'm doing that with the phrases "I love it!" and "I want MORE THAN PIE!"

You have to listen to me say these to get the full hilariousity. I don't have audio capability so I'll try and make do...

There was a beer commercial for a Canadian beer on TV where a bear and a girl are exchanging gifts. When she opens the bear's gift for her (it's some kind of beer cooler) she say's in a really sweet, high, excited voice, "I love it!".

Kinda like that. When my wife asked be today if I liked the hardanger (Norwegian embroidery) piece she got at the neighbor's garage sale. I said "I love it!".

Smart ass.

My other repetitive saying "I want MORE THAN PIE!", is said in a gruff sort of angry loud voice. It came about just this week when my wife and I were returning from Seattle and I suggested we stop at a Marie Callender's restaurant for a piece of pie. I've never had Marie's fresh pie. She makes a good frozen pot pie though.

I'd seen something on the Food Network about Marie's pie being good, and I dream of stopping there someday. That wasn't the day.

In my mind anyway, Betsy yelled at me, "I want MORE THAN PIE!" I don't know if she understands the pain that caused me. I've been pining for that pie for a long time now. To get back at her, I have to yell, in a Tourette's syndrom random way, multiple times a day -


NPR : The Guru of Googlewhack

An interview with Dave Gorman The Guru of Googlewhack.

Santaland Diaries

A story by David Sedaris to get us thinking about the holidays.

He's a bad elf.

Funny funny stuff.

Hope in Hard Times - New Deal Photoagraphs of Montana 1936-1942

MSU professor, Mary Murphy's book 'Hope in Hard Times: New Deal Photographs of Montana 1936-1942' wins Montana book award.

Here's the Amazon.com link.

Friday, November 12, 2004

This Page Cannot Be


The link above is a creation of

Amongst other interesting information about fonts and pictures and stationary I found this link with some pretty pictures of Texas taken by Nellieanna at her Flying Dutchman Ranch.

Minimalist Approach to Blogging


I like it.

A tent and a few days by a campfire sounds good.

Virtual Finland

Maybe take a look through Your Window on Finland. What beautiful place, plus they invented The Finnish Sauna. I love taking a sauna and then jumping in a cool lake, or sometimes a cold lake....or one time into a snowbank. Major brainfreeze. Don't go headfirst.

I think saunas, sweat-lodges, steambaths are really good for you. Maybe I'll go sit in one tomorrow.

There's some nice pictures and discussion of saunas at Kalle Hoffman's Sauna Building FAQ.

The best sauna's are woodfired, in the woods or a quiet place, near a nice clean lake. It would be nice to have one anywhere, and a shower nearby to cool off after. I used to go to a health club that had an ice-dip. It was just really cold water running thru a small/deep round cement pool. Felt good after a steam or sauna. You could make something like that in your backyard...a wood fired sauna and the cold water dip.

If you do..could you invite me over?


The value of silence

Silence from Taize - The Ecumenical Community

Some history of Taize.

Worth1000.com | Photoshop Contests

If you have some free time and a fast connection there's lots of interesting, fun, funny and weird altered images at Worth1000.com.

It's A Foggy Morning

And I'm feeling a little froggy. The Dr. told me to take a couple of days off work to try and kick this cough cold bug. He gave me a scrip for some strong cough medicine so I don't wake myself, and everyone else, up in the house.

I made a big pot of chicken soup and some cranberry relish to tide myself over.

Chicken Soup for the Throat

You'll need:

1 package of chicken thighs (I like thighs because the bones and fat give the soup flavor)
Chicken Boullion (I like the artificial taste)
Garlic powder (unless you have some fresh garlic)
Egg Noodles
Olive Oil or whatever you like to cook with
A big soup pot

Put olive oil in your big pot. Heat it up. Add chicken. Cut up the veggies while chicken is browning a little. Put the veggies on top of the chicken. Let them cook down into the chicken juices, while you add garlic powder, salt, pepper, boullion. Don't add much water, you want the veggies to absorb the strong chicken flavor.

After an hour or so of slow cooking, add water to cover and then some more. After this has simmered for awhile add the egg noodles. This soup, like lots of things, is better after it's cooled and reheated. If you don't like fat you might skim it off after the soup is cooled.


Sweet Lemon and Orange - Cranberry Relish

I saw some nice looking fresh Oregon cranberries at the fruit and vegetable stand and thought they sounded tasty. Why wait for Thanksgiving?

You'll need:

Fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cup of sugar
Orange juice
Fresh manderin (or other sweet) oranges

Heat sugar and 1/2 cup or so of water until sugar dissolves
Add cranberries
One orange sectioned
A little orange zest (the outside of the peel)
A little lemon zest
Scant cup of orange juice

Cook the cranberries until they pop. They will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I can't eat too much at one time, the flavor and sweetness is very intense. Really wakes up your mouth.

I'm listening to a small local public radio station today KSER - A Sound Adventure. It's a "Sound" adventure because we live by the Puget Sound. You can listen online. They play an eclectic mix, you won't be hearing on other radio stations. Recommend you give them a listen once in awhile to see what you think.


Happy cooking, listening and living.

Hope you have a good Friday and a great weekend.

Take care of yourselves.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

After washing Becca's car,
In the alley dark
The shadow of a monster!