Monday, December 12, 2011


Tommy was a hitchhiker -- this may be him except the sleeping bag doesn't look right.  He had his stolen in Arizona and we gave him an army bag that was excess to us (and apparently the Army since they gave us an extra to keep!)  He was in Forest Park in St. Louis and spotted his bag alone near a tree, so he traded back.  The army bag was warmer so it was a matter of familiarity rather than function, apparently.
He would hitch mainly route 66 (now 44/40) St. Louis to LA mostly ,staying alive by giving blood in the bigger cities along the way. You could get $15 a pint but could only give once a month or so.  But the tracking was poor then and he could give in several cities, hitting the blood centers about a month later on the trip back east.  He would stop in Albuquerque at our place for a nights sleep and some food; he knew people all along the route even extending north to San Fran. where he would hit the Haight.  His stories were always a non time-dependent series of events.  May have been last week. May have been last year.  A smear of stories runtogether in a stream of consciousness.   We once prepared a large duck dinner for us and him but he could only eat half of a normal meal since his stomach was shrunken due to the sparse, but consistent, input of food over the weeks previous. Large enough to live
on but not enough room there to accommodate splurging.

Last time we saw him he came through with a girl from Baltimore in tow.  We loaned him our address so he could collect some food stamps and fill 2 gunny sacks with the food; the overage he gave to us. Seems to me it  was about $150 worth of stamps/food that we all got.  Took them up to the hot springs north of town where they intended to camp for a few months.  G'bye free spirits . . .   we moved on and that was that.

It may have come as quite the surprise  to each when he showed up later at our last place to be greeted by the  new-renters.  Where'd they go?  Don't know. (we were in Fort Polk Louisiana)  Maybe later. 
  That was that.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Historical Sin

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things is a painting attributed to Hieronymus Bosch, completed around 1500 or later. The painting is oil on wood panels. The painting is presented in a series of circular images.
Four small circles, detailing "Death of the sinner", "Judgement", "Hell", and "Glory", surround a larger circle in which the seven deadly sins are depicted: wrath at the bottom, then (proceeding clockwise) envy, greed, gluttony, sloth, extravagance (later, lust), and pride in scenes from everyday life rather than allegorical representations of the sins.[1]
At the centre of the large circle, which is said to represent the eye of God, is a "pupil" in which Christ can be seen emerging from his tomb. Below this image is the Latin inscription Cave Cave Deus Videt ("Beware, Beware, God Sees").
Above and Below the central image are inscription in Latin of Deuteronomy 32:28-29, containing the lines "For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them," above, and "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" below.
"Hieronymus, or Jerome, Bosch, b. c.1450, d. August 1516, spent his entire artistic career in the small Dutch town of Hertogenbosch, from which he derived his name.
At the time of his death, Bosch was internationally celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions who dealt in particular with the torments of hell. During his lifetime Bosch's works were in the inventories of noble families of the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and they were imitated in a number of paintings and prints throughout the 16th century, especially in the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Bosch was a member of the religious Brotherhood of Our Lady, for whom he painted several altarpieces for the Cathedral of Saint John's, Hertogenbosch, all of which are now lost. The artist probably never went far from home, although records exist of a commission in 1504 from Philip the Handsome (later king of Castile), for a lost Last Judgment altarpiece. None of Bosch's pictures are dated, although the artist signed many of them. "  (from

Deadly Sin * **
Opposing Virtue
Brief description
(1) (18%)
Humility Seeing ourselves as we are and not comparing ourselves to others is humility. Pride and vanity are competitive. If someone else's pride really bothers you, you have a lot of pride.
(5) (5%)
Generosity This is about more than money. Generosity means letting others get the credit or praise. It is giving without having expectations of the other person. Greed wants to get its "fair share" or a bit more.
(2) (5%)
Love "Love is patient, love is kind…" Love actively seeks the good of others for their sake. Envy resents the good others receive or even might receive. Envy is almost indistinguishable from pride at times.
(3) (20%)
Kindness Kindness means taking the tender approach, with patience and compassion. Anger is often our first reaction to the problems of others. Impatience with the faults of others is related to this.
(7) (31%)
Self control Self control and self mastery prevent pleasure from killing the soul by suffocation. Legitimate pleasures are controlled in the same way an athlete's muscles are: for maximum efficiency without damage. Lust is the self-destructive drive for pleasure out of proportion to its worth. Sex, power, or image can be used well, but they tend to go out of control.
(6) (8%)
Faith and Temperance Temperance accepts the natural limits of pleasures and preserves this natural balance. This does not pertain only to food, but to entertainment and other legitimate goods, and even the company of others.
(4) (13%)
Zeal Zeal is the energetic response of the heart to God's commands. The other sins work together to deaden the spiritual senses so we first become slow to respond to God and then drift completely into the sleep of complacency.
* Numbers in parenthesis indicate position in Dante. ** Percentages indicate results of our poll as of October 25, 2009.

Sadness was once a sin, but it was combined with Sloth years ago.

There are consequences if you wander from the path (when they occur is not specified but I would think that they are not immediate or your friends might start disappearing):

     Sin                                            Punishment

Pride                                            Broken on Wheel
Greed/Avarice                              Boiling Oil
Envy                                            Freezing Water
Lust                                             Smothered in Fire
Sloth                                           Snake Pits
Wrath/Anger                                Dismemberment Alive
Gluttony                                     Forced to Eat Snake, Toad, Rat

These punishments seem harsh but I guess if you want to keep the "nation void of counsel"   in line you have to scare them into compliance.


Friday, October 07, 2011


Careful now . . .  this cat will chew your face off if provoked! 
Not really, but for one named Zippy she is mostly found asleep off in some other world  (she was once a flash of yellow seen as a vertical streak falling off of the roof there to the right -- a great image.)

If you had to lie on your stomach, your legs would stick out too!  Guy and Daisy finally looking at me.
He showed up one icy winter with heartworms, bare ribs, and in need of some warmth and human kindness - or any other kind of kindness he could find. She is there as his buddy and running mate -- you can never have just one dog . . .  it's an outfit.

A real cutie until she starts chasing the ducks back into the lake.  I can tell now that I will be rescuing her this winter as she falls through the thin ice on the lake.  I just hope that it is fairly near to shore as my rope is not getting any longer and I am getting weary of rescues.


No comment


A passing thought: Winter

It is all around me
not like skin or air or quilt  . . .  more like music and thought and feeling
there in the air and in the wind
Can't put your finger on it because it is your finger
and the leaves and the small plants and the snakes and the grass and the life in the soil
reacting to a change,  slowing down for a respite back into the ground.
Me ----  I shall build a fire

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Navigating by the Light of a Minor Planet

The trouble with belief in endlessness is
it requires a belief in beginninglessness.
Consider friction, entropy, perpetual motion.

And the trouble with holding to both is that
belief in endlessness requires a certain hope
while belief in beginninglessness ends in the absence of hope.

Or maybe it's vice versa. Luckily,
belief in a thing is not the thing itself.
We can have the concept of origin, but no origin.

Here we are then: in a world where logic doesn't function,
or else emotions can't be trusted. Maybe both.
All known tools of navigation require an origin.

Otherwise, there is only endless relativity and then
what's the point of navigation, in a space where
it's hard to be lost, and even harder not to be?

Saying "I don't want to be here" is not the same
as saying "I want to not be here." It rains
and it rains and it rains the things I haven't said.

Poem by Jessica Goodfellow

Seems like these two complement each other.  I like words just beyond my grasp (that last stanza will take some airing)-- maybe in the right mood I can comprehend and understand the writer of the poem and the taker of the photo (Hanspeter Klasser of  Karlsbad, Germany with a Canon 350D). When queried, Mr. Klasser said that the photo above, Blue Tunnel, is an "alienation" of Red Rose -- another of his photos.
And the intent is probably just half a bubble off of level, which is fine.

I am afraid that I had to rely on the kindness of strangers for this presentation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Distant help for a wandering soul
The peace which passeth all understanding
I am told

Fast clouds passing  on a rainy day
Sweet scent nosed of cut clover and hay
soft air

Breath pulled in deep to pinpoint wandering thought
To let it rest deep in the chakra where it belongs
To allow release and capture at the same time

I wonder why that is so hard

Fractal design by Buddhi on Fractal forum using a Mandelbulber  program (not mine -- I wish!)
Our first fractal attempt took 23 hours to run on a monocolor monitor with an 8086 chip in the CPU.
The pixel was either off or on, black or yellow.  The math is fairly easy, with guidance from a fractal book.  It is understanding why it works which is the rub.  Why evaluating how fast a mathematical function goes to infinity then assigning a color to that pixel depending on the speed, produces beauty such as that above.
One of my fractals is the blue spinner where my photo belongs on this blog -- very basic.

It would be nice if nature developed from numbers --- and it may be so.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So Once Again . . .

"Masters Of War"

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin'
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it's your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion'
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the sand.

You've thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain't worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I'm young
You might say I'm unlearned
But there's one thing I know
Though I'm younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death'll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand over your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead.

Bob Zimmerman  (Dylan)

Such glee at a death not our own -- Obama VS Osama. More death to prove a point!
And I suspect that I am on the unpopular side of this moral issue, yet
But it seems a trial would have been called for:  Demonstrate, for all to see, that if you run contrary to the beliefs and lives of others who may not agree with you and kill to prove your point , you will be held accountable. That on this planet we rely on the rule of law and moral codes to exist with one another.
Death is too easy; especially when most believe that a happy time will then exist and killers are just accommodating the martyr.

We hope for the best world but "yet reality blows another truth" !
(thanks for that one, Nasra)

Monday, March 28, 2011


Our neighborhood appears to be going downhill.
Houses built at the turn of the last century  (when it was possible to raise a family on 40 acres and a mule) abandoned, since it is more efficient to put up a double-wide trailer to live in nowadays than to rework the old structures to be warm, painted,  and bug free.  Once the roof loses integrity it is just a matter of time and a few seasons until structure falls and returns to earth.  Many of us in the area try to document these places through photos before they are just dark rectangles on the old geodesic maps. And this is just a holding action since photos have a habit of accumulating and becoming detritus to be discarded by a future family member who wonders why anyone would take a picture of an old falling-down house.

 This left behind, probably too heavy to move -- and who would tune it?  It is nice to think of the tunes that emanated from this instrument; probably religious music but who knows, maybe "Coming Round the Mountain"  bounced off of the walls on occasion.

Makes me wonder what we will leave behind and what will become of it.  Perhaps a future photographer will walk around our dusty house and wonder "why would they save that old piece of junk?"

Monday, February 21, 2011


Moon landings could be assembled at staged setups in the Mohave?
Luddites will rejoice at this shot of a shuttle launch obviously created in someone's living room with digital trickery.  And we all fell for it who watched!

See strong invention engines strange devise,
And ope the mysteries of earth, seas, and skies;
Aid curious art to finish works refin'd,
And teach abstrusest science to mankind.
Up the dread vault, where stars immensely roll,
To heaven, Herschelian tubes conduct the soul;
Where proud Orion heads th' immortal train,
And opes his lucid window through the main;
Where, far beyond this limitary sky,
Superior worlds of liquid splendour lie;
Far other suns diffuse th' unsetting ray,
And other planets roll, in living day,
Truth, bliss, and virtue, age by age, refine,
And unknown nations bask in life divine.

From Timothy Dwight, Greenfield Hill (1794)
Unlike most of the other 18th-century writers represented here, who were British, Dwight was American; this poem dealt chiefly with his conception of an ideal society and was dedicated to John Adams.

No, it is true . . .   this photo of  a  NASA camera shot of the separation of the shuttle from its fuel tank was taken of our television screen, the lamp a reflection.
(It has been a slow winter)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Memphis '68

The black motel where Martin Luther King stayed when in Memphis.  He was there on April 3, 1968 to speak to the 1300 black sanitation workers who were striking for equal treatment with the white workers.  The next day King was shot and killed while leaving his room.  As  leader of  the nonviolent-protest movement for black equality, and a defender of the natural rights of fellow humans, he is a hero of mine.
  I hold high standards for heroes: one must live a life of selfless dedication to others and their welfare over individual comfort; a hard life to live.  I guess mother Teresa would qualify as would Ghandi,  Doctors Without Borders, hospice volunteers, and a thousand others unknown to me but could qualify nonetheless -- you will know them when you feel their grace.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others."
-- Strength in Love (1963)   Martin Luther King Jr.-- A Baptist Minister

It might seem that he knew of his impending death since the speech the night before ended with these words:

"And then I got to Memphis.  And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?
Well, I don't know what will happen now, we've got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop and I don't mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.   Longevity has its place.  But I'm not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God's will,  and He's allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I've looked over.  And I've seen the promised land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.  And I'm happy tonight.  I'm not worried about anything.  I'm not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."     (see text of the complete speech)

On a lighter note, if you ever get to Memphis visit the Peabody Hotel downtown.  They have a group of ducks which are brought down daily on the elevator from their pen on the roof, to waddle over to the fountain in the lobby to spend the day.
  Ducks in Memphis, what a treat!

 I couldn't resist pictures of the ducks and fountain.  The black stone of the fountain is of one piece of travertine marble from Italy, installed in 1925.