Thursday, June 30, 2005

Painting: Grey Aliens from Zeta Reticuli

click painting to enlarge

Flesh-eating Aliens Were Chasing Me When I Caused Fatal Car Crash

Scott Krause is accused of crashing into a UPS truck and killing driver Drew Reynolds in 2004.

By Emanuella Grinberg, Court TV

A California man facing life in prison for crashing his car into a UPS truck will not dispute that his actions resulted in the death of the driver when his trial opens Monday in Nevada County Superior Court.

Instead, Scott Krause's defense will argue that the defendant believed he was trying to escape man-eating subterranean beings when he ran into Drew Reynolds' truck on Jan. 6, 2004.

Click on the title of this posting to get to the full story...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

President's Head Explodes During Press Conference

click to enlarge

[All This Is That Wire 6/28/2005 Cleveland, OH]

The President's head spontaneously exploded this afternoon as he formulated an answer to a three-part question from Heywood Jablomy of the Cheyenne Intelligencer. Seconds after the question was posed, the Presidents skull began glowing with a bright pink light and pieces of the skull began to break off and hover in the air.

Witnesses reported a deep ringing sound, followed by a loud bang and an overpowering smell of ozone. The whereabouts and medical condition of the President are not known at this time.

Pending further developments, the Vice-President invoked the 25th amendment to The Constitution and was sworn into office at 4:30 EDT today.

Crosswalk Button Hacks: Cross Anytime!

Have you ever watched someone manically push the crosswalk buttons? Did you think they were fools? I did. But, as it turns out. . . they were on the right path!

A group of pedestrian hackers called Cross Anytime announced their discovery of several back doors or "cheats" using crosswalk buttons at many intersections. The 3658-item list has been released on their website

While some of the codes have been obtained through intelligence gathering and analysis of illegally obtained push-button systems, most were uncovered through the brute-force approach. "It's wasn't as easy as it sounds," Walker said. "Contrary to what the kiddies may think, going crazy with clicks doesn't help much. You need to understand the inner workings of the systems - not to mention differences in the push-intervals. For instance, the McKenzie mkI model is based on dual 1.2 second cycles (meaning that long clicks and pauses last 1.2 seconds) while the mkII model uses a 1.5 second cycle (pauses are 1.5 seconds long). And the models look almost identical to the casual pedestrian!"

The most popular hack, which works on most models, is the "Instant Walk." Three short clicks, followed by two long, one short, two long, and three short; turn any crosswalk signal from "don't walk" to "walk" with a matching change in the traffic signals.

It's Times Like This I Want To Revoke The First Amendment

* click image to enlarge *

Listening on the radio to the BTK strangler testify, in sociopathic, unemotional detail about each of his ten murders, or "projects," as he calls them. . .that's when you start to wonder about our right to hear this. Get this guy out of the papers and into the hoosegow!

While we're on the first amendment (sort of), would we have been permitted to see Janet Jackson's nipple if Justin Timberlake had, say, cut it off instead of flashed it?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Drawing: Fun With Scratchboard, 2

click image to enlarge

The Posies Release New CD!

The Posies

[from:] Seattle-based power pop veterans The Posies will break a seven-year new album drought [jack note: in the meantime, they have released a two live disks, a box set, solo albums, an E.P., and another mini-E.P.] with "Every Kind of Light," due Tuesday (June 28) via Rykodisc. The 12-track record would appear to have been a long time in the making. But according to co-frontman Jon Auer, its actual recording was a lightning-quick process capping a half-decade of the band's adventures in limbo."We'd actually officially broken up after 'Success' in 1998 and called it a day," Auer tells "We actually decided it was over before making that record. Then we toured it and said good night." Read the rest here.

Update On The Former Presidents Club: POTUS Bush & Clinton Hang Out In Kennebunkport

POTUS Pals - click to enlarge

The friendship between President Clinton and President Bush (the elder) continues. Early on, it felt like a marriage of convenience, but it really appears the two Presidents have come to genuinely like each other. The club just isn't that big anymore--President Ford is now in his nineties, and for all the great things President Carter has done, he probably is not anyone's first pick to bring to a party... /jack

AP - Tue Jun 28,10:55 AM ET
Former presidents Bill Clinton, left, and George H.W. Bush smile for wellwishers before starting a round of golf at the Cape Arundel Golf Club in Kennebunkport, Maine, Tuesday, June 28, 2005. Clinton was in the state Monday autographing his book, 'My Life' . Clinton was invited to Kennebunkport by his former political rival. The two got to know each other and became friends while touring countries affected by the tsunami. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach)

Eat Your Own Dogfood

Actor Lorne Greene used to flack the dogfood Alpo on TV, saying "it's so good I feed it to my own dogs." It gained currency during the dot-com craze, and the phrase is still used most commonly in technology companies. I believe it is one of the central tenets of quality assurance (as opposed to QA's subdiscipline, testing).

"Eating your own dog food" means that you use the software you create, or play the games you make. In other businesses, you might actually eat the food you serve, watch the TV shows you make, or use the product you manufacture. This can be taken to extremes, of course, as in the Not Invented Here syndrome, where you not only eat your own dogfood, but you also won't touch anyone else's [1].

Ben Hamper, writing about life as a shoprat at General Motors in his book Rivethead, tells how anyone foolish enough to drive a foreign car into the employee parking lot would find their car keyed, tagged with spray paint, mirrors ripped off, and possibly rammed by a one-ton pickup. That is an extreme punishment for not eating your own dogfood.

Why should you eat your own dogfood? You actually get to know the product you are making. By knowing it, you may get some ideas about how to increase its goodness. In the case of games and software, problems, bugs and deficencies become apparent often only after extended use by a variety of people. Eating your own dogfood shows you believe in your own product. If you work at a brewery, a game company, or bakery, it probably works pretty well for you, if you manufacture cod liver oil, syrup of ipecac, chastity belts, or experimental aircraft. . .not so much.

[1] "Not Invented Here," describes a company that will use nothing developed by "outsiders." In many cases companies don't know a solution already exists. But even more often, the organization believes they can produce a superior product. Apple Computer, from System 1 through OS9 did not include many U.I. innovations (from, say, Windows) because they were not accounted for in Apple's human interface guidelines (a great document, by the way).

Apple rejected any change they did not invent...which, of course, ignores the fact that Apple cribbed most of this stuff from innovations at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in the first place. In the open source world, at any time, there are several groups working on different projects that all do the same thing.

Large corporations like Microsoft reject all use of open source software...because they feel the source sharing requirements are too onerous. Therefore they must come up with all these tools in house, no matter how much it costs and no matter how poorly the tool emulates what is already available for free.

Drawing: Fun With Scratchboard

click image to enlarge

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Poem by James Wright: Lying In A Hammock At William Duffy's Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota

One of my favorite poems by James Wright, a powerhouse mid 20th century American Poet.

Lying In A Hammock At William Duffy's Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

- James Wright

My Worst Jobs No. 5 - Design Insanity - Hype, Shuck, and Jive In The Dot-Com Years

Design Intelligence was formed in the middle of the dot-com boom. D.I. was something of an anomaly in that dot-com bubble. . .software was blase. Everyone was doing a, and if you weren't, well, you and your company were schlubs. Even the most gossamer and flimsy crackpot schemes were nailing down fat first and second rounds of serious capitalization. Some of the kookiest web sites were even going public (like the sock monkey site and a web site that sold dog food). People were streaming into Seattle faster than in the Yukon gold rush of '97.

Design Intelligence was a well-funded startup poised to create a Pagemaker-slayer. It would be the first commercial software with a web-based browser interface. Design Intelligence
had serious artistic underpinnings; they liked to think of D.I. as a heroic foray by artists into real software. A lot of time and money was spent nailing down patent rights to the underlying technology. A lot of time and $$$ was spent on green crystals [1] and the U.I. while the guts of the project languished. Between securing patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and mounting a glitzy and facile marketing campaign, people sort of forgot about the software we were supposed to create.

On the face of it, the software was exciting because it used "design intelligence" to create good looking print and web pages. The user did not have to be a designer. We did all the thinking for you and then formatted your input into a gorgeous document! It looked like a license to print money. I wanted on the gravy train.

Working there combined a bunch of things I liked: art and photos, typography, book and document making, publishing, story-telling, internet linkage, and software. In the end, the designers and powers that be decided we couldn't do all the thinking for you, and rather than doing the designing for you, we reverted to the old dreaded mode of garbage in, garbage out. . .e.g., if you didn't know what you were doing, your output might look terrible. This is exactly what happed like SALSA!, it was impossible to protect the end user from themselves (without spending a lot more money), although the marketing blather never told you that. Because you could not protect end users from themselves, it became a power users tool and anyone less than a power user would just have to pound sand. Alas, the power users who could create gems with iPublish wouldn't use it; it didn't have the power user features they needed because it was designed to be used the average Joe.

The enterprise was shrouded in a mantle of secrecy. There were paper shredders all over the place. I remember specifically being urged not to discuss anything with my family.

My nominal boss was reluctant to hire me (wisely as it turned out for him). But I wanted in and I called them, and emailed them and "pinged" them daily. They finally relented. I took a huge pay cut, and jumped from being a senior manager at a public company to an individual contributor role in a startup. I was stuck in a dark room with two other bizarre testers and one normal one (Mark Ferkingstad).

It wasn't long before I realized it was all a cheap facade. Once you stepped behind the painted stage flats, they were inventing it as they stumbled ahead. The people who weren't just blowhards were locked into seriously delusional thinking.

They built the company using every bad consultant, corporate leech, huckster and flim-flam man you'd ever met. They talked about who knew whom, regaling each other with past war stories and blew smoke up each others asses until they all believed they were about to change the world. It was an exercise in mass delusion . . . guys pulling down six figures dropped by a couple days a week to pontificate about typography, or about their multi-tiered marketing scheme. vPeople smelled money and everyone was searching for their piece of the pie. The rest of us hoped to get through it, and maybe even cash in some of our modest stock options, if we ever did succeed in pulling it off (which was still up in the air). It was not easy to drink the Kool-aid tm.

Everyone was half as smart as they thought they were, and in particular, me. I had walked away from another project with many of the same delusions and organizational insanities. I couldn't see the handwriting on the wall; I didn't want to see it. So I hopped on board.

As is often the case in a startup with grand plans, there was not nearly enough money to accomplish what we set out to do. So they decided to put out something that would pretty much work, and really make it good in version 2 (Software Startup Delusion No. 5). Version 1 either so damages your reputation so badly that you can't possibly recover, or it it stiffs and you are left with no money.

I bailed right after they released Version 1. DI offered more stock, money, and a promotion two bumps up the ladder. It was like being handed the helm of The Titantic an hour after they hit the iceberg. It was everything I wanted, a year too late and with no possibility of changing anything. I headed for greener pastures.

[1] OXYDOL: Detergent w/ green crystals. One of our marketing people at SALSA often told the story of Oxydol...a detergent that sold poorly until they added those famous green crystals. The green crystals had nothing to do with laundering clothing...they were nothing but some harmless material colored bright green. We had to be ever alert for our own green crystals. I never actually heard the marketing guys ask for or think about features in i-Publish. They just wanted to identify the presence of green crystals and then flog them in the marketing materials.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bomb Shelters, Inc.

click the card to enlarge

When I was growing up, people were building fallout shelters everywhere, although I never actually saw one. The poor folks in the valley just didn't build them. But, up on the hill, you heard about people actually building them in their houses. At the very least, a lot of them were, as my friend Kevin Curran once said "sandbagging the jam closet."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Painting: Man With Gun

click image to enlarge - this is a modified version of an old hobo sign

Woohoo! Let Their Breasts Swing Free!

Workers at the Dept. of Justice have removed the blue drapes covering the "naughty parts" of the aluminum statues at the Department of Justice.

The Spirit of Justice, with her one--quite attractive--breast exposed, and the shirtless male Majesty of Law, are finally freed from Attorney General Asscraft's fig leaves.

The drapes were installed 3 1/2 years ago--at a cost of $8,000--because former Attorney General Aschcroft (a fundamentalist prig) lived in fear he might be photographed with a winsome breast peeking over his shoulder, as he indeed was in this early photograph.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Democrats Demand That White House Adviser Karl Rove Apologize Or Resign For Accusing Liberals Of Wanting “Therapy And Understanding” For Terrorists

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Go here to read the full article on MS-NBC. Save the apology, Karl, just resign. . .

If Congress Wants To F*** With The Constitution, Repeal The Second Amendment

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The House of Representatives today approved an ill-conceived measure giving Congress the power to ban desecration of the American flag. They debated whether this would impinge on the Constitution's free-speech protections and decided it would not.

These attempts to protect "Old Glory" go as far back as 1984, when a flag was burned outside the Republican convention in Dallas. Five years later, in 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that a Texas law outlawing flag burning violated the First Amendment's protection of free speech. It came to a vote again in 1995. It always passes the House, and gets hung up in The Senate.

The Senate has defeated the bill previously (narrowly), but this year. . .who knows? We may get the 28th amendment. I don't actually know if it can be challenged in court before it is enacted.

It's not popular with the Republican stormfront, but flag desecration is protected speech and legitimate expression (referring again to the 1989 decision by The Supremes). It's an unhealthy sign that we want to ban it. Someone needs to remind our knuckle-dragging Congress that the flag is a symbol; a symbol of us--We The People. And We The People are strong enough to watch a symbol take a little abuse.

If Congress wants to amend the Constitution, they should repeal the second amendment. The proposed 28th amendment is good for nothing except as salve for our bruised and misdirected jingoistic pride. Attention Gun Nuts: don't write, telling me how many lives guns save. If you want to use your gun, try it out on the man in the mirror.

Camille Paglia Is Right Again: Joni Mitchell Is A Poet

The poetry "community" has been debating whether Camille Paglia's elevation of Joni into the pantheon is legitimate. Yeah, it's weird, but poets and scholars debate things like this. Like most controversies in the community, it is a tempest in a teapot. Joni Mitchell writes better poetry than virtually everyone involved in the debate. There are dozens of examples, and here is one of many. Case closed. The Jungle Line is laid down on a foundation of Burundi warrior drums, a warped bass line and Joni's amazingly biting and weird lyric.

The Jungle Line

Rousseau walks on trumpet paths
Safaris to the heart of all that jazz
Through I-bars and girders, through wires and pipes
The mathematic circuits of the modern nights
Through huts, through Harlem, through jails and gospel pews
Through the class on Park and the trash on Vine
Through Europe and the deep deep heart of Dixie blue
Through savage progress cuts the jungle line

In a low-cut blouse she brings the beer
Rousseau paints a jungle flower behind her ear
Those cannibals-of shuck and jive
They'll eat a working girl like her alive
With his hard-edged eye and his steady hand
He paints the cellar full of ferns and orchid vines
And he hangs a moon above a five-piece band
He hangs it up above the jungle line

The jungle line, the jungle line
Screaming in a ritual of sound and time
Floating, drifting on the air-conditioned wind
And drooling for a taste of something smuggled in
Pretty women funneled through valves and smoke
Coy and bitchy, wild and fine
And charging elephants and chanting slaving boats
Charging, chanting down the jungle line

There's a poppy wreath on a soldier's tomb
There's a poppy snake in a dressing room
Poppy poison-poppy tourniquet
It slithers away on brass like mouthpiece spit
And metal skin and ivory birds
Go steaming up to Rousseau's vines
They go steaming up to Brooklyn Bridge
Steaming, steaming, steaming up the jungle line

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Only Joke I Know By Heart

A Texas business man came to Japan for business meetings, and, of course, golf. His first night in Tokyo, he employed the services of a beautiful young Japanese woman as his companion. The Japanese girl spoke only broken English and the businessman spoke no Japanese. They got down to business, and, in the heat of the moment, she began yelling "Ungawa! Ungawa!"

The businessman knew he had pleased his female friend and soon afterwards drifted off to sleep.

The next day, playing golf with his Japanese colleagues, one of them hit a hole in one from 170 yards away. Everyone went nuts and began yelling excitedly in Japanese.

Wanting to impress his friends, the Texan joined in and began yelling, "Ungawa! Ungawa!"

Suddenly everyone became quiet. After a moment of silence, one of the Japanese turned to him and asked "What do you mean wrong hole?"

I'm 18 And I Vote!

It was thirty-five years ago today that President Richard Nixon signed the 26th amendment to the constitution, lowering the voting age to 18. I was able to take advantage of it in 1972, and vote for George McGovern for President, the first in a long string of half-baked candidates my beloved party would offer up for my delectation.

List No. 7: The Fifty Most Frequently Shoplifted Items

This is a real headscratcher...the Food Marketing Institute’s list of the most frequently shoplifted supermarket items. I thought wine and steaks would be right up looks like when people's hearts turn to larceny, they head right for the pharmacy department...

Most Frequently Shoplifted Items in Rank Order

Product Name
Advil tablet 50 ct
Advil tablet 100 ct
Aleve caplet 100 ct
EPT Pregnancy Test single
Gillette Sensor 10 ct
Kodak 200 24 exp]
Similac w/iron powder - case
Similac w/iron powder - single can
Preparation H 12 ct
Primatene tablet 24 ct
Sudafed caplet 24 ct
Tylenol caplet 100 ct
Advil caplet 100 ct
Aleve caplet 50 ct
Correctol tablet 60 ct
Excedrin tablet 100 ct
Gillette Sensor/Excel 10 ct
Gillette Sensor 15 ct
Monistat 3
Preparation H Ointment 1 oz
Similac w/iron concentrate 13 oz
Tavist-D decongestant tablet 16 ct
Trojan ENZ 12 ct
Tylenol gelcap 50 ct
Tylenol gelcap 100 ct
Tylenol tablet 100 ct
Vagistat 1
Advil caplet 50 ct Advil gelcap 50 ct
Advil gelcap 24 ct
Advil tablet 50 ct Aleve tablet 50 ct
Anacin tablet 100 ct
Centrum tablet 60 ct DayQuil liquicaps 20 ct
Dimetap tablet 12 ct
Duracell AA 4 pk
Ecotrin tablet 100 ct
Ecotrin tablet 60 ct
Energizer AA 4 pk
Excedrin tablet 50 ct Femstat 3 app
Gillette Atra 10 ct
Gyne-Lotrimin 3 app
Monistat 7
Motrin caplet 50 ct
Motrin tablet 24 ct
Oil of Olay 4 oz
Preparation H Ointment 2 oz
Schick Tracer FX 10 ct Gillette Sensor/Women 10 ct
Sudafed tablet 24 ct
Visine drops 1 oz

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Painting: "Our Flag Was Still There"

click image to enlarge

President Bush Hits The Wall Over The Bolton Nomination: Is POTUS A Lame Duck Already?

President Bush faces a politically thorny situation _ and stark choices _ now that Senate Democrats twice have blocked John Bolton's confirmation as U.N. ambassador.

The president could withdraw the nomination, authorize further concessions to Democrats over access to information they seek or bypass lawmakers altogether by appointing the former State Department official to the job temporarily without the Senate's OK.

But any of those options could leave the president appearing weak as he confronts sagging poll numbers and fights to stave off a lame-duck label just six months into his final term.

Click here to link to the full story in The Washington Post.

Monday, June 20, 2005

He's Not Close Enough To Give Him The Johnson Treatment, But LBJ Appears To Be Answering A Pointed Question From Dan Rather

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Cheops, The Sphinx, and The Pizza Hut At Giza

Most of the photos of Cheops and The Sphinx we westerners see don't show any modern civilization around. This photo, shot through a Pizza Hut tm window, is therefore unexpected and a little startling. . .
---o0o--- Says Nelson Rockefeller Changed The Constitution And Had JFK Murdered In Concert With Haig, Kissinger, LBJ, Nixon, and Rumsfeld

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I hadn't heard this particular crackpot theory before. They didn't even mention the Trilateral Commission! Click on the title to go to their web site for the rest of the story.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Build Your Very Own President Lyndon Johnson Articulating Doll

click image to enlarge

Want to make your own articulating LBJ doll? 1) Go here, print the gif in color and then print to the opposite side of paper in black & white mode. (2) Carefully cut along the dotted lines. (3) Assemble, LBJ, using paper fasteners** as joints. (4) Voila! Hang by head or shoulder fastener(s) with string. Or put some staples through his head, or whatever you'd like!

** You know...those brass plated fasteners they used to bind paper with punched holes together. If you remember these things you probably remember Burma Shave signs too.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Poem: Dosvidaniya, Ivan Ivanovitch

Dosvidaniya, Ivan Ivanovitch,
Living life like it couldn't last.
Each day you feel the marrrow diminish
And each week ending is a week too fast
From which there is no turning back.
So you cinch it up tight and leave no slack

To slip through those towering gates,
Relieved from duty in these United States,
Where you were born but never fit.
Now the powers that be coil and spit
As the venomed fangs are bared.
You want to abandon ship, but never dared

And paced and tried to raise the nerve,
Knowing or praying, hoping for the call
Before stumbling into that last blind curve.
It never came and now you sit and wait,
And swear this time you'll play it straight,
Hovering in circles until you stall.

The Johnson Treatment, Part 6

Click photo to enlarge

Here you see LBJ working over The Hump and LBJ's early Senate mentor, Se. Richard Russell. All This Is That has published numerous photos and paintings of LBJ. Check out:

One of the heroes and villains paintings

LBJ In A Characteristic Pose

Running Mates: Senators Lyndon Johnson And JFK

The Johnson Treatment, Part 5: Senator Richard Russell (Dem., Georgia) Undergoes The Treatment

The Johnson Treatment, Part 4: President Johnson Gives The Treatment To Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas

The Johnson Treatment, Part 3: LBJ Gives Eartha Kitt The Treatment

The Johnson Treatment, Part 2: Richard M. Nixon, Republican Presidential Front-runner Gets The Treatment

The Johnson Treatment

Friday, June 17, 2005

Dylan Thomas's Prologue

Dylan Thomas wrote this as the prologue to his Collected Poems, not long before his death. He posed himself an interesting technical challenge: the first line rhymes with the last, the second with the next to last, and so on, converging on the couplet in the middle (lines 50 and 51) separating the stanzas. Great poem, great rhyme scheme...although Thomas was disappointed that no one could pick out the rhymes when he read the poem aloud. It is one of the four or five poems I know by heart.

This day winding down now
At God speeded summer's end
In the torrent salmon sun,
In my seashaken house
On a breakneck of rocks
Tangled with chirrup and fruit,
Froth, flute, fin, and quill
At a wood's dancing hoof,
By scummed, starfish sands
With their fishwife cross
Gulls, pipers, cockles, and snails,
Out there, crow black, men
Tackled with clouds, who kneel
To the sunset nets,
Geese nearly in heaven, boys
Stabbing, and herons, and shells
That speak seven seas,
Eternal waters away
From the cities of nine
Days' night whose towers will catch
In the religious wind
Like stalks of tall, dry straw,
At poor peace I sing
To you strangers (though song
Is a burning and crested act,
The fire of birds in
The world's turning wood,
For my sawn, splay sounds),
Out of these seathumbed leaves
That will fly and fall
Like leaves of trees and as soon
Crumble and undie
Into the dogdayed night.
Seaward the salmon, sucked sun slips,
And the dumb swans drub blue
My dabbed bay's dusk, as I hack
This rumpus of shapes
For you to know
How I, a spinning man,
Glory also this star, bird
Roared, sea born, man torn, blood blest.
Hark: I trumpet the place,
From fish to jumping hill!
Look: I build my bellowing ark
To the best of my love
As the flood begins,
Out of the fountainhead
Of fear, rage red, manalive,
Molten and mountainous to stream
Over the wound asleep
Sheep white hollow farms

To Wales in my arms.
Hoo, there, in castle keep,
You king singsong owls, who moonbeam
The flickering runs and dive
The dingle furred deer dead!
Huloo, on plumbed bryns,
O my ruffled ring dove
In the hooting, nearly dark
With Welsh and reverent rook,
Coo rooing the woods' praise,
Who moons her blue notes from her nest
Down to the curlew herd!
Ho, hullaballoing clan Agape, with woe
In your beaks, on the gabbing capes!
Heigh, on horseback hill, jack
Whisking hare! who
Hears, there, this fox light, my flood ship's
Clangour as I hew and smite
(A clash of anvils for my
Hubbub and fiddle, this tune
On a tongued puffball)
But animals thick as thieves
On God's rough tumbling grounds
(Hail to His beasthood).
Beasts who sleep good and thin,
Hist, in hogsback woods!
The haystacked
Hollow farms in a throng
Of waters cluck and cling,
And barnroofs cockcrow war!
O kingdom of neighbors, finned
Felled and quilled, flash to my patch
Work art and the moonshine
Drinking Noah of the bay,
With pelt, and scale, and fleece:
Only the drowned deep bells
Of sheep and churches noise
Poor peace as the sun sets
And dark shoals every holy field.
We will ride out alone and then,
Under the stars of Wales,
Cry, Multitudes of arks!
Across The water lidded lands,
Manned with their loves they'll move,
Like wooden islands, hill to hill.
Huloo, my proud dove with a flute!
Ahoy, old, sea-legged fox,
Tom tit and Dai mouse!
My ark sings in the sun
At God speeded summer's end
And the flood flowers now.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Senator Clinton wins S.C. straw poll

Richland County Democrats held the nation’s first straw poll for the 2008 presidential race Wednesday and the surprise winner was U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

“We’re simply delighted,” said Bob Kunst, president of, who is traveling the country promoting Clinton’s candidacy.

“This should help us in our effort. It gives us a nice boost.”

Clinton’s victory at the sparesely attended event was a mild upset. Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, a native South Carolinian and last year’s Democratic vice presidential candidate, had been considered the favorite.

Click the title to see the full article...

Painting: Twins

click to enlarge

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

All This Is That Traffic Notes

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This chart shows the tally of today's visitors to this blog, broken out by country and domains. You can't tell what country the domains or the "IP address only" country, so you'd have to guess probably the U.S. Interesting. . .

Deep Throat Led Probes To Find ... Deep Throat

AP file
Updated: 7:16 p.m. ET June 14, 2005

NEW YORK - Mark Felt, the former FBI official who unmasked himself as the legendary "Deep Throat" source who leaked Watergate secrets, twice led FBI probes into finding Deep Throat, The Nation magazine said Tuesday. Click on the title to link to the full story on MSNBC.COM.

Painting: Cyclops!

click painting to enlarge

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Happy Flag Day!

click image to enlarge

A great flag scene from one of my favorite movies.

No one celebrates Flag Day much anymore. When I was a kid, I remember flags every five feet, up and down each side of Meeker Street. The D.A.V. and Civitan Clubs sold flags and lapel flags on the street corner.

About half the country seems to be have magnetic bunting and pro-war ribbons attached to their cars. There were flags everywhere following September 11, 2001, but the actual fervor has visibly dimiished. You'd think every street in America would be awash in flags with the resurgence in jingoism following 9/11.

At the risk of being a reprobate to the Democratic/leftist flange, I think flag waving is OK.

At the risk of being anathema to the Republican/hard rightists, I think flag burning is OK too. It usually seems kind of silly, but it does get attention with its shock factor.

Jacko Cheats The Jailer

click to enlarge

Monday, June 13, 2005

Federal Election Commission Blog Crackdown

The proposed new FEC regulations on blogs seek to apply federal campaign finance rules to online publications.

This could affect any blog with content about U.S. politics (which includes this blog). Among the Federal Elections Commission proposals:

Mandatory disclaimers on political blogs
Team blogs must register as a "political committee"
Bloggers to file campaign expenditure reports

Click on the title of this posting to read the proposed FEC rules.

Christina Aguilera Used To Torture Prisoners At Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp


The interrogation sessions lengthen. The quizzing now starts at midnight, and when Detainee 063 dozes off, interrogators rouse him by dripping water on his head or playing Christina Aguilera music. According to the log, his handlers at one point perform a puppet show “satirizing the detainee’s involvement with al-Qaeda.” He is taken to a new interrogation booth, which is decorated with pictures of 9/11 victims, American flags and red lights. He has to stand for the playing of the U.S. national anthem. His head and beard are shaved. He is returned to his original interrogation booth. A picture of a 9/11 victim is taped to his trousers. Al-Qahtani repeats that he will “not talk until he is interrogated the proper way.” At 7 a.m. on Dec. 4, after a 12-hour, all-night session, he is put to bed for a four-hour nap, TIME reports.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Audioblogger: A Quick Harmonica Break

this is an audio post - click to play

Painting: The Three Fates - Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos

click image to enlarge

Dwarf Slays Sasquatch!

the dwarf with his quarry

From The Weekly World News
By Michael Chiron

In what astounded forest rangers are calling a "modern-day version of David versus Goliath," a 36-inch-tall dwarf killed a towering 9- foot-tall Bigfoot as it chased a half-naked blonde hiker through his campsite in Yellowstone National Park!

Pint-sized Pete Yarosky proved he has a heart as big a lion's when he brought down the rampaging man-beast -- armed only with a handful of small stones and the screaming woman's thong underwear, which the quick-thinking shrimp converted into a makeshift sling. "Mr. Yarosky struck the creature near the right temple where the skull is thinnest, knocking it cold -- then he chopped it's head off with an ax." confirms an Interior Department investigator. "He showed remarkable courage and resourcefulness in a situation that would have made most of us 'normal' men freeze in terror. "He's one brave little guy."

The terrifying encounter occurred Feb. 13 as Yarosky, 38, camped with three buddies in the northwest part of the park. "I really wanted to show my friends I could handle myself outdoors," the Lincoln, Neb.- based Ferris wheel inspector recalls. "But, instead, I ended up slowing down the group -- one pal actually had to give me a piggyback ride part of the way."

Shortly after daybreak, at a campsite less than 150 yards away, hiker April Holderman was doing her morning toe touches, clad in her undies. "Suddenly I got this creepy feeling I was being watched, " the attractive 23-year-old recalls. "Then this giant apeman jumped down from a tree branch, leering. I bolted, screaming my head off." When April ran into the clearing where Yarosky was camped, with the enormous Sasquatch at her heels, his chums fled in panic. But the gutsy dwarf held his ground. "I told April to stand behind me and I kept yelling at the Bigfoot, 'Go away,' " the half-pint hero says. "But I knew he could squash me like a bug."

Desperate for a weapon, Yarosky picked up a fistful of stones and prayed for a miracle. Suddenly, the image of David slaying Goliath came into his mind. "Out of left field, this little dwarf guy asks for my thong," April recalls. "There was no time to argue, so I yanked it off. "As the Bigfoot bore down on us, Pete put a stone in his 'sling.' He started swinging it overhead -- then he let it rip. "The rock beaned the Bigfoot and the thing keeled over."

The Bigfoot's carcass has been carted away to an undisclosed research facility and tight-lipped wildlife officials refuse to confirm the incident on record. Conservationists object to Yarosky -- who's now dating grateful April -- being hailed as a hero for slaying an ultra-rare Bigfoot. But zoologist Thomas Smith points out: "Bigfoot sex assaults on humans are up 62 percent. Mr. Yarosky undoubtedly saved this woman from an unspeakable fate."

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Painting: Adam And Eve

click image to enlarge

Audioblogger:::::Jack Reads Theodore Roethke's Gob Music Poem Over A Cellphone Dialing Into All This Is That Via The Blogger Network

this is an audio post - click to play

A Demented Take On The Bible, Illustrated With Legos

click image to enlarge

The Reverend Brendan Powell Smith tells stories from the Bible using Legos for illustrations. His great web site, focuses on "the hot parts" of The Bible (like the seduction of Lot, Gomorrah, Jacob and Esau, Onan, Jezebel, etc.) He fully illustrates parts of The Bible that tend to be ignored by Christians, such as a drunk and naked Noah cursing his son. This site is a
a must see! Click here to go to his web site. Some of his Lego creations appear in books for sale at He has downloads of his mujsic. Support this visionary!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Another Mandelbrot Fractal

click image to enlarge - fractal created 6/10/2005 using Fractint 20.0

Poem: The Revelations Sermon At The First Church Of The Mojo Apocalypse

Seven seals, seven vials
Seven lamps of fire
Seven sickles for seven angels

The last trumpet
Blows reveille and taps
For the coming and going

Over the hills and far away
The Piper is piping
Us home.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

President Bush's Polling Numbers Continue To Nosedive

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the job President Bush is doing . He has hit a new low, friends, but I don't think he's hit rock bottom yet!

POTUS's approval rating is now a full twenty points lower than Bill Clinton’s was on the day he was impeached. Heh-heh.

Click on the title to link to the MSNBC article, and on the link in the first paragraph to go to the actual poll data from ABC news.

Painting: Gomorrah

click image to enlarge

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Painting: Mosaic

click image to enlarge

Tracking All This Is That "Customers"

Over the last two weeks, the number of people coming to this site has quadrupled. The counter tracking system shows most of the new traffic coming from Google Images. This blog must have made the cut somehow, because now the majority of traffic comes from there. There has also been a huge spike of people coming from Google France. . .same deal. . .this site is now being crawled by both Google Images and Google France.

Most of the hits are on the Presidents paintings and the Heroes and Villains series. A large number of hits are on an optical illusion I didn't create (rotating wheels). I reprinted it on the blog, and dozens of people a day come to look at it, and grab it. /jack

Tempest In A Teapot: "The G.O.P. Is A White Christian Party"

I'm not sure why Republicans are outraged over Dr. Dean's (a/k/a The Democratic Party Chair) statement yesterday on the makeup of the G.O.P.:

"The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people."
"They're a pretty monolithic party."
"They all behave the same and they look the same."
"It's pretty much a white, Christian party."

The G.O.P. may not like to advertise some of these facts, but they are facts. You Elephants can't have it both ways; you can't beat down and disenfranchise people you hope to vote for you. Over the last year, there has been evidence of Republican support among women and minorities slipping even further. Duh.

Click on the title for more info and an audio clip of Dr. Dean's remarks.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bush Media Consultant Joins McCain Presidential Election Team


The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Mark McKinnon, the Austin political consultant who oversaw the advertising for President Bush in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns, has committed to help Sen. John McCain in a second presidential bid.

McKinnon - one of the president's closest friends and confidants and a frequent mountain biking companion - met with the Arizona Republican over lunch this spring in the Senate dining room to discuss his support, said a GOP activist familiar with the meeting.

At this point, McCain, who lost to Bush in a bitter 2000 Republican primary, is in the early but unmistakable stages of laying the groundwork for another campaign. And McKinnon has indicated he would review his options, should Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, run in 2008.

Click on the title to link to the complete article.

New York City: Shangra La?

click to enlarge

It's no longer easy to be murdered in New York City. When I lived there, it still topped the list, just behind Detroit and another hotspot or two.

The city released its 2004 crime index numbers yesterday, and crime is down 4 percent from last year. According to the city, New York ranks 221st out of 240 cities nationwide in the crime index.

Selected Murder Rates

NYC: 7 per 100,000 people
Los Angeles: 13.5 per 100,000 people
Chicago: 14.5 per 100,000 people
Philadelphia: 22.1 per 100,000 people
Detroit: 41.5 per 100,000 people

Seattle: 4.5 per 100,000 people


Poem: Your Wooden Leg

If you still can.
Drag that wooden leg
Behind you, but keep up,
Jogging after your pipe-dream.

Think bullet-proof,
Shun the ghosts,
And always remember
The way back
And the door out.

Poem: Weather Report

Life is a raindrop
Sizzling as it skitters
Across the universal griddle.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Painting: A Grey's Hands


18,906 Days On Turtle Island:::::::::I Like It Here!!!

I have now lived 18,906 days; on September 5, 2005, I hit 19,000 days.

Things have changed. And nothing has changed. Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush have held the office of POTUS ('though George W. Bush is in the midst of passing through the White House alimentary canal).

The year I was born, Eddie Fisher, Tony Bennet, Les Paul and Mary Ford, Perry Como, Patty Page, and Stan Freberg were on the top of the Hit Parade. From Here To Eternity won the Oscar for Best Picture. Dragnet, The Roy Rogers Show, I Love Lucy and The Milton Berle Show were on television.

Some cool new toys were introduced that year, and they're all still with us: Mr. Potato Head, Pez, plastic army men, Silly Putty, and Legos.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison was published (great book BTW), The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow (who died earlier this year) came out, as did Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin, and Secret of The Andes by Ann Nolan Clark.

Bread was fifteen cents a loaf; milk was $0.94 a gallon; a new car cost about $1,800; you could buy a house for under ten thousand; eggs were $0.75 a dozen; gasoline was $0.29 a gallon; and a stamp cost you three cents. These prices sound pretty good, but the minimum wage was $0.75 an hour, and $4,700 a year was a median salary.

World War II had only been over eight years when I was born. It was a contemporary event when I was a kid! One of my friend's Dads was with Patton's 3rd Army (or was it the 5th?) as they raced through Berlin toward Hitler's Bunker. Our dads were all Over There, in Europe, Africa or The Pacific, and our mothers worked in factories (Betty Brummet riveted bombers at Boeing), or joined the service (Betty also enlisted in the Marines).

In 1953, The Depression still cast a long shadow. Our parents lived through it as children.

I am glad to Be Here Now. Of the things gone and things still here, I vote for things here. Now. Where All This Is That.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Painting: The 28 Men Who Run The World

click to enlarge

The basis of this painting is a drawing I did last week, of 28 faces. I digitized the drawing, touched it up in Paintshop Pro 9.01, and used Harry's Photoshop Filter 3.0 to color it. I corrected the gamma, resized it, and added one of my favorite digital frames--a Mission style frame with inlays. /jack

Boohoo! The New York Yankees: Overpaid, Underperforming Primadonnas Get Aired Out By George "Pardon Me" Steinbrenner

Now that A-Rod has consulted several therapists and taken enough jitter meds and electroshock, he is playing ball again, after a long draught. However, it's too little, too late:::::::::: Mt. Steinbrenner has erupted.

It's fun to watch when this happens (it was especially fun in the Billy Martin years). Joe Torre is wetting his pants and Brian Cashman walks around in a Xanax haze, mumbling to himself. They've thrown millions at the problem and they're getting drubbed by teams with minuscule payrolls. There is nothing more satisfying than watching The Bronx Bombers collapse--watching Steinbrenner go medieval is the icing on the cake! /jack

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports Writer Sat Jun 4, 4:11 PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS - George Steinbrenner feels his Yankees are letting down New York and hinted changes could be coming unless the team starts winning.

The Yankees owner confirmed his discussion with manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman and said Saturday it was up to the two of them to solve the problem, ominously adding a "right now" to the end of his remarks.

Friday, June 03, 2005

North Korea: President Bush Said The Magic Word ("Mister"). Could Peace Be At Hand? If We Really Start Shoveling It On Thick, Will They Disarm?

click to enlarge

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea gave rare praise to President Bush on Friday, welcoming his use of the honorific ``Mr.'' when referring to leader Kim Jong Il and saying the softened tone could lead to its return to nuclear arms talks.

Read the article by clicking on the title of this blog entry. The marionette rendition of Mister Kim Jong Il is from the recent film Team America by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

A Fractal

click to enlarge

I created this fractal with Fractint 18.2, an integer-based fractal generation program created, like much great freeware is, by a loose collective of people.

In the early 1990s, it would take many many hours to create a fractal.

I worked at hDC in 1991, where we created a fractal generator that was included with our software, as a toy, more or less. Fractals are fascinating...if you want to create your own, click on the title of this article, which will take you a site where you can download Fractint 20.0.

The Safe Palette For The World Wide Web

click image to enlarge the 216 color safe palette

There was a time when you could only use these colors on a web site--to ensure colors wouldn't dither (where a color is created by mixing dots, crosshatches, etc., of more than one color to create the illusion of another color). In 1996, most computers had 8-bit video cards (e.g, capable of displaying 256 colors).

The Browser-Safe Palette actually uses 216 colors (see swatches above) of the possible 256. The other 40 colors vary on Macs and PCs; not using those colors allows this palette to work cross-platform.

The woman who first identified the safe palette said:

"The browser-safe palette was developed by programmers with no design sense, I assure you. That's because a designer would have never picked these colors. Mostly, the palette contains far less light and dark colors than I wish it did, and is heavy on highly saturated colors and low on muted, tinted or toned colors. "


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Gee Whiz! 2

Click image to enlarge. A road crew in Washington
state collected these jugs of urine. In one year, a
single, small county in the state collected 2,666

MSNBC SEATTLE — Roadside litter comes in all shapes and sizes — from dirty diapers to syringes — but there's one category that out-grosses the rest: trucker bombs. Most drivers whiz along the nation's highways largely oblivious to their roadside surroundings. But next time you are out there, take a closer look.

"As soon as you look for it you’ll see it," says Megan Warfield, litter programs coordinator at Washington state's Department of Ecology. "You just see them glistening in the sun. It’s just gross."

They are trucker bombs, plastic jugs full of urine tossed by truckers. . .

Click the title to link to the story on MSNBC.

Has The Prophet Yahweh Fallen On Hard Times? And Was It My Brother-In-Law's Posting Here That Caused It?

I saw the impressive video from a television station (it looked more or less may have been a reakl TV station, or it could have been cooked up). A reporter, camera man, and The Prophet see freaky objects in the sky. I don't know if The Prophet Yahweh Seer of Yahweh was able to successfully summon the UFOs in Las Vegas tonight. He will be calling the spaceships until July 15. It looks like his pay video site didn't work. He mailed his press list and subscribers:

Dear Lists,

It's late now (9 PM) and starting tomorrow I will be contacting you about issuing you your refunds.

There were not a lot of people who signed up.

And the little $7.95 did not pay for the debt I incurred from people throughout the earth running up my streaming bill in my name and other bills related to the operation.

I have not spent one penny of the small amount of money I received from you.

I have let it sit up in my Pay Pal account.

I will start contacting you about your refund tommorrow.

No one who paid the $7.95 has to worry about if they will get their money back.

Because, I represent YAHWEH, and my honor and my words are all I have. And, I will not let it fail over a few $7.95 payments.

Prophet YahwehSeer of Yahweh