Thursday, November 24, 2011



"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. 
I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life."

I have closed my eyes, bowed my head, folded my hands, and recited countless prayers. In desperation I have petitioned and beseeched.

"Thank you" are the only words I have ever truly prayed.

Monday, October 31, 2011

if you look for beauty it will find you

Little round planet
In a big universe
Sometimes it looks blessed
Sometimes it looks cursed
Depends on what you look at, obviously
But even more it depends on the way that you see

~ bruce

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This is your country, don't let the big men take it away from you. Original Photograph by Dorthea Lange, 1936.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wyeth descent

Situated atop a hill above the home in which Jamie was raised, [his grandfather N.C. Wyeth's] studio was filled with weapons, costumes and colorful paintings of pirates...

"It was just magic," Jamie says. "And then I would go back to my family's house and there would be my father painting some dead bird in the yard."

Thursday, October 6, 2011



The essence of livingry is human-life advantaging and environment-controlling. With the highest aeronautical and engineering facilities of the world redirected from weaponry to livingry production, all humanity would have the option of becoming enduringly successful. ~RBF

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Common sense

In order to gain a clear and just idea of the design and end of government, let us suppose a small number of persons settled in some sequestered part of the earth, unconnected with the rest; they will then represent the first peopling of any country, or of the world. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto; the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same. Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him to quit his work, and every different want would call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune, would be death; for, though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

Thus necessity, like a gravitating power, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society, the reciprocal blessings of which would supersede, and render the obligations of law and government unnecessary while they remained perfectly just to each other; but as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue.

from “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Freedom is doing the right thing when no one is watching.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The American and the Fisherman

I first read this story posted on the wall of a Jimmy John's sandwich shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan:
An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senior."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senior, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then, senior?"

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, senior? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
I've often puzzled over the perceived necessity of "growth." This unattributed parable demonstrates the conflict between the mandate to maximize profits and the value of a life that's worth living. How much greater is this tension when the growth in question is of an increasingly catastrophic militarily-industrial brand of capitalism, the cross of iron on which humanity has hung itself. Buckminster Fuller coined the term livingry, the antonym of weaponry. Our economy should serve the way we ought to live, not the other way around.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stadium love

Earth is an absurd stadium, teeming and festering with the miracle of life. Each entity must struggle and compete for survival, ceaselessly devouring and being devoured. The most absurd participant in this creature carnival is the human, a being well-constructed for combative success yet seemingly bound by its very nature to self destruction. Our kind's cognitive and physical prowess has elevated us to a position of dominion in the environment, but not over our own nature. We have organized and civilized according to the neccessities of basic survival, the rules of the game, yet we don't seem to be winning the world. We possess the technological capacity to spread knowledge, health, and well-being around the globe, yet remain trapped in primeval tribalism - needlessly beholden to violence, ignorance, and fear. Where's the love?

Sept. 14, 2011 - I wrote this entry prior to watching the video by the Canadian band Metric that is linked to the lyrics (yep, blog post with song lyrics in it). The translation from lyrics to video are quite literal, and in retrospect the whole thing seems kind of on-the-nose. I've embedded said video here for full effect:

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Too much cannot be said against the men of wealth who sacrifice everything to getting wealth. There is not in the world a more ignoble character than the mere money-getting American, insensible to every duty, regardless of every principle, bent only on amassing a fortune, and putting his fortune only to the basest uses... These men are equally careless of the working men, whom they oppress, and of the State, whose existence they imperil. There are not very many of them, but there is a very great number of men who approach more or less closely to the type, and, just in so far as they do so approach, they are curses to the country.

[They] combine to bring about as much financial stress as possible, in order to discredit the policy of the government and thereby secure a reversal of that policy, so that they may enjoy unmolested the fruits of their own evil-doing... I regard this contest as one to determine who shall rule this free country—the people through their governmental agents, or a few ruthless and domineering men whose wealth makes them peculiarly formidable because they hide behind the breastworks of corporate organization.

~ Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Financial alchemy

The United States Department of Justice is investigating the securities-rating practices of Standard & Poor's, the agency that recently downgraded its evaluation of this country's credit worthiness. There's some speculation that this is retribution by the D.O.J., or even that S&P knew of the pending investigation and issued the credit downgrade as a preemptive shot-across-the-bow. What we know is that Standard & Poor's was a big player in the mortgage-backed securities fraud that was perpetrated by a cartel of nihilistic financial institutions.

Investors the world over were scammed by a collusion between the creators and marketers of these magical bundles of shit and the ratings agencies who were happy to rubber-stamp a golden Triple-A rating on their bogus offerings. A happy collusion because ratings agencies were being paid richly by the very criminals whose worthless products they were supposed to be evaluating for integrity and risk. "Don't kill the golden goose," perhaps was the mantra of profiteering executives at the ratings agencies.

Here's how the mortgage-backed securities grift goes down, per my understanding: It starts on the ground level* with a glut of housing development. For a time the economy is billows; builders are in work and borrowed money flows freely and cheaply. Now someone has to purchase all these oversized, low-quality, high-cost houses. Banks begin issuing mortages to buyers of lower and lower credit worthiness. This develops into a frenzy of pushing huge loans on unqualified applicants. Incentives are paid based on how many dollars are lent, not on the performance of the loans. All the easy cash going around creates a spike in housing prices, a bubble. It can't last, but there's a reason why creditors such as Countrywide were not worried about the inherent unsustainability of this model...

Residential mortgages, and their potential for profitability or failure, were quickly sold up the food chain. Huge banks like J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs created the demand by pushing their slick new financial "products" onto the global securities market that were built from bundles of rotten home loans. Top-notch AAA ratings, of course, made moving these securites a cinch. Profits from the scam were in the perpetrators' bank accounts by the time masses of idiotic people in the United States who had purchased huge houses they couldn't afford started defaulting. Then the securities turned from gold back into the worthless slag they were all along. Global economic crisis ensues.

- - - - - - -
Alchemy is the ancient pursuit of turning base metals into silver or gold. Seems like an easy trick to pull off, so long as the alchemist accepts the knife in his hand as the base metal, and the lucre stolen from his brother as the golden end. I prefer the pursuit of turning dirt into enough food to share, but I suppose the appeal of thievery and shiny objects should not be overlooked.
- - - - - - -

*Actually, it starts at the very top. The offices of Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman have historically been occupied by people inextricably entangled with, if not beholden to, the interests of big financial institutions. All that loose cash for building and buying houses had to come from somewhere. Policies for regulating the exchange and taxation of securities transactions are also made in Washington. When the Fed creates new dollars it is distributed into the economy from the top down. Big banks get first crack at all that magical money, long before the ruinous effects of their deregulated gambling are manifest.

Step two in the grift, outrageously, is demanding a new bankroll while foreclosing on the collateral of belly-up loans. A gazillion "dollars" are pumped back in the form of stimulus to the very people responsible for destroying the economy in the first place. But have no fear, Department of Justice investigations are underway.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dymaxion truth

The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet's surface at that time. Everything else will follow.

~ R. Buckminster Fuller
(from the transcript of his final interview, 1983)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Emergency appendectomy

Live blogging from my bed in the Christiana Hospital (7:45 am) using the interactive touch-screen thing that's attached to one of those mechanical elbows like in the dentist office. Pretty cool.

Friday, August 5: Felt pain in abdomen, increased throughout the afternoon and evening - localizing at lower right. To the "Doc-in-a-box" med center, examined and sent straight to ER (10:30 pm). Long wait in triage, finally examined (Saturday, 1:00 am) and CT scanned (3:00 am). An hour later the word comes back: surgery.

Appendix is inflamed and infected, in danger of "perforating." Rupture would flood internal organs with pathogens, that's bad. I felt a little like a ticking bacteria bomb while in the queue for operation. Surgery commences sometime after 9:00 am 11:30 am, procedure is done lapriscopically and goes well.

Emerge from general anesthesia, sans appendix. Day one of recovery goes smoothly, riding a wave of IV pain meds, and receiving good support from hospital staff, family and friends. Day two is now.

- - - - - - -
P.S. - Home from the hospital after a two night stay (not counting Friday night in the ER, will I be billed for that?), recovery going well. Happy to report a resumption of normal traffic past the area under construction.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ode to the heirloom

This particular yellow Brandywine's fate: a mayonnaisey end. Adding cayenne pepper to the equation really sends the 'mater sandwich to the next level. The seeds are drying on a paper plate, awaiting planting next spring - what a concept.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Crime and punishment

The following is an excerpt from a The Prophet (1923), a book of philosophical poetic essays written by Khalil Gibran. Wikipedia asserts that Gibran is amongst the most-read poets in history, third behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.
Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.

But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,

So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,

So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.

The mass slaughter that occurred in Norway on Friday, including the detonation of a car bomb in a metropolitan area, was perpetrated by a different enemy than most initially suspected. Exposure of the threat within subverts our collective expectations of, and pat psychological responses to, an external threat. It seems that without a xeno on which to assign blame, fear, and reaction (such as Islamofascism) we are left with the distressing realization that evil cannot be hunted down, smoked out, or killed with bullets and bombs.

There is no other - no them. The killer in you is the killer in me. The better we understand that evil does not visit us in the form of a distinct beast to be exterminated, but as a pulse that continuously runs through each of our hearts, the better equipped we will be to redeem the times. God help us.*

- - - - - - -
*I have to asterisk this, not only because it marks the second consecutive post to end in a prayer of sorts, but also because the topic of God in relation to acts of murderous terror is a touchy one. Some would say the holy text of Islam is intrinsically chauvinistic and violent. Some would be well advised to reread the Old Testament with new eyes, then consider what it could mean to be a follower of the biblical God in the most literal, fundamental sense.

In the same passage from The Prophet cited above, the author refers to the "god-self" toward which humanity marches together in procession. This can be read in correlation to the Bible's language about each person bearing the image of God - the perfection of which humanly manifest in Jesus. And we know he wouldn't massacre defenseless children.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The fox and the hedgehog

The following text summarizes a seminar given by Philip Tetlock titled “Why Foxes Are Better Forecasters Than Hedgehogs.”
“What is it about politics that makes people so dumb?”

From his perspective as a pyschology researcher, Philip Tetlock watched political advisors on the left and the right make bizarre rationalizations about their wrong predictions at the time of the rise of Gorbachev in the 1980s and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Liberals were sure that Reagan was a dangerous idiot; conservatives were sure that the USSR was permanent. The whole exercise struck Tetlock as what used to be called an “outcome-irrelevant learning structure.” No feedback, no correction.

Tetlock's summary: “Partisans across the opinion spectrum are vulnerable to occasional bouts of ideologically induced insanity.” He determined to figure out a way to keep score on expert political forecasts, even though it is a notoriously subjective domain (compared to, say, medical advice), and “there are no control groups in history.”

So Tetlock took advantage of getting tenure to start a long-term research project now 18 years old to examine in detail the outcomes of expert political forecasts about international affairs. He studied the aggregate accuracy of 284 experts making 28,000 forecasts, looking for pattern in their comparative success rates. Most of the findings were negative — conservatives did no better or worse than liberals; optimists did no better or worse than pessimists. Only one pattern emerged consistently.
“How you think matters more than what you think.” 
It’s a matter of judgement style, first expressed by the ancient Greek warrior poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things; the hedgehog one great thing.” The idea was later expanded by essayist Isaiah Berlin. In Tetlock’s interpretation, Hedgehogs have one grand theory (Marxist, Libertarian, whatever) which they are happy to extend into many domains, relishing its parsimony, and expressing their views with great confidence. Foxes, on the other hand are skeptical about grand theories, diffident in their forecasts, and ready to adjust their ideas based on actual events.
Bottom line… The political expert who bores you with a cloud of “howevers” is probably right about what’s going to happen. The charismatic expert who exudes confidence and has a great story to tell is probably wrong.

And to improve the quality of your own predictions, keep brutally honest score. Enjoy being wrong, admitting to it and learning from it, as much as you enjoy being right.

~ by Stewart Brand
I came across the link by way of a climate-change related post on The Stone, the New York Times philosophy blog. This entry pertained to the nature of "expert consensus" vis-à-vis democracy constituted by "the ignorant many." The argument proffered by our NYT blogger: laypeople, per their non-expert status, have no basis to refute the conclusions of experts (climate scientists in this case, and their view that human activities are warming the planet).

The logic supporting this argument was anemic, relying heavily on the premises of trustworthiness in expert consensus and ineptitude or irrational bias of laypeople. I won't debate the broad veracity of the latter premise, but the former - that expert opinions are reliable - is empirically specious. Any number of historical examples, e.g. as recently as the 1970s climate scientists were predicting an ice-age, weightily refutes this.

Real peril occurs, I believe, on the political level. Regardless of if, when or why experts are incorrect, power-hungry idealogues will always be willing to exploit fear for their own ends. On this, one commentator responding to the NYT article wrote:
Since the beginning of time, high priests and other "experts" have predicted apocalypse for their societies - and increased their standing and power in society by purporting to provide a cure. These predictions of apocalypse all have one thing in common: they are always wrong.
So when I see Al Gore on television advocating a rush to large-scale political action to combat the eminent demise of our planet due to human-generated climate change, I am compelled to roll my eyes. Monolithic thinking dominates the American political landscape (the childish absurdity of the current debt-ceiling debate* punctuates this), and the vision of a free society comprised of and legitimately governed by well-informed citizens is fading. Perhaps my roll-of-the-eyes is better seen as a heavenward plea on behalf of the foxes.

- - - - - - -
*Incidentally, I recently read an article that quoted market master billionaire investor Warren Buffett's quick-fix plan for the budget deficit:
I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that any time there's a deficit of more than three percent of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Now you've got the incentives in the right place, right?

It's capable of being done. And they're trying to use the incentive now that we're going to blow your brains out, America, in terms of your debt-worthiness over time. That's being used as a threat. A more effective threat would be just to say, "If you guys can't get it done, we'll get some other guys to get it done."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Greed is bad

Once, in a momentarily Randian mindset, I quipped that selfishness was the core of morality. This synthesis came from considering The Golden Rule and The Prisoner's Dilemma. While the golden rule appeals to an ethical imperative (e.g. Hammurabi's Code or the Sermon on the Mount), the prisoner's dilemma is more of a logical allegory (i.e. game theory/math). The result of each person turning on the other is net-negative; everyone loses in sum. Only if each bears some personal price is mutual benefit (net-gain) possible.

What does this have to do with Gordon Gekko? Simply, that he was wrong. Michael Douglas's character in the 1987 film Wall Street employed viciously small-minded mathematics in asserting the virtue of greed. It is not ethically viable for people to act according to the mantra of unconditional selfishness, nor is it socially pragmatic to isolate the interest of the individual from the interests of others. The following are a few user-generated web comments that address this issue:
A widely accepted convention of psychology is that the sociopath is one who is unable to integrate emotionally with others. Humans seem to need ethics to be sane. Ethics not only tells us when it's safe to cross the street, but when others' priorities overrule our own immediate needs and even direct our own emotions toward others' needs. What [better] example is there than empathy? We can feel with all things, from birds to foreigners. Indeed, Hammurabi parlayed respect for others into a codified system which encouraged commerce and vastly increased not only wealth, but the spread of good ideas. Concepts like Justice, Liberty and Rights, intangible though they appear, are more effective in securing our prosperity and viability as social groups than any amount of enforced order.

So, yes, Ayn Rand, we are free to act individually to maximize our individual happiness and prosperity, but our basic nature requires that we take all other aspects of our surroundings into account if we are to preserve sanity. The neocons' paradigm of "creating our own reality" is illustrative of the fallacy inherent to wishful thinking. And on any given day, more than ninety-nine percent of seven billion human beings lives and works side-by-side with others in peace because if for no other reason, it's more efficient. Neither can children be raised nor crops be grown amid conflict. ~ Martin W.

[Part of a response to a philosophy post on the New York Times website.]

The illness that the western world faces isn't liberalism, or capitalism for that matter; it's the distortion of these 'isms' based on the delusional hubris that man has in regard to himself. When people value themselves over their community, society begins to deteriorate. ~ Cliff E.

[From a discussion of individualism on a friend's blog.]

A Republican [sic] is, at root, a person who has concluded that economic selfishness is the heart of morality, ensuring that the worthy get their reward and the unworthy their punishment. If you'd like to advance from political arithmetic to political algebra, substitute "powerful" for "worthy" to derive this: "A Republican is, at root, a person who has concluded that government works best when it serves the economically powerful, even at the expense of the economically disadvantaged they grow wealthy by exploiting."

This health care issue is not ethical rocket science, folks, it's pure power politics. Executives with top-notch insurance policies, insurance companies, overpaid hospital executives and physicians who as specialists often earn in excess of $500,000 per year for 20 hours of work per week don't want national health care. It simply has nothing to offer them that appeals to their powerfully developed sense of selfishness and entitlement. ~ Douglas B.

[Response to an old Washington Post article about health care. This comment is overtly partisan, but I feel it effectively exposes a core ideology of what the first commentator briefly referred to as neoconservatism (if not "Republican" - I take issue with obsessing over the two-party system; corruption is corruption, it abounds everywhere). A planet scorched by global implementation of an ideology that consecrates unregulated rapacity is not a place where I want to live. It might suit Newt Gingrich and his million-dollar Tiffany's expense account, but it ain't for me.]

When we betray each other we betray ourselves. Rational self-interest is good. Greed is bad.

I shall close by invoking the Code of Costanza: WE'RE LIVING IN A SOCIETY HERE, PEOPLE!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Egg salad

Two hard boiled eggs[1], diced
One small ripe tomato, seeds/juice removed, diced
One small jalepeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less spicy)
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Two strips crispy bacon[2], chopped
Mayonnaise, 1-2 tbsp
Dijon mustard, 1 tsp
Chile powder, to taste

Combine all in bowl. Serve on soft bread.
[1] Hard-Boiled Eggs
Boil water (enough to cover the eggs by an inch). Gently place eggs in water with spoon. Reduce to low, simmer for ten minutes. Remove eggs, serve immediately or chill in cold water.
[2] Microwaved Bacon
Place bacon between two double-layers of paper towels on a microwaveable plate. Zap for about three minutes. Bacon should be light and crumbly.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I don't want to die in a nuclear war*

Love Is Eternal Sacred Light Paul Simon
Keep It Simple Martin Sexton
Second Song TV On the Radio
Ready to Start Arcade Fire
Radioactive Kings of Leon
Second Chance Peter Bjorn and John
Black & Blue Miike Snow
Going Mobile The Who
Under Cover of Darkness The Strokes
Rich Girls The Virgins
Stylo Gorillaz (feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack)
This Too Shall Pass OK Go
Breakin' Up Rilo Kiley
Stadium Love Metric
Funky Squaredance Phoenix
Shot-Gun Boogie Tennessee Ernie Ford

*"But with the overpopulation and inflation and starvation and the crazy politicians..." from Apeman by the Kinks (1970), a cover version kicked off last year's summer mix. Influential to this blog's address.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

You can't control the world

but you can control your own life.

The singular message of Root Simple, a back-to-basics blog spotlighted in yesterday's New York Times.

Last night I watched a documentary titled Inside Job. Other than a few speciously dramatic flourishes, the film registered as a a thorough and thoughtful (if not slightly biased) depiction of the players and events that led to the recent and ongoing financial systems meltdown. What a bummer, man. The portrayal of staggeringly pervasive institutional corruption sent my head spinning.

It also got me thinking, remembering. A few years ago I received an email distributed by a panicked friend. Her somewhat scattered concerns reduced to: They're trying to rob us of a free and prosperous future, we need to organize and act now! (She provided links to YouTube videos all guilty of extravagantly specious dramatic flourishes.)

The quote in the title of this post essentializes, as I recall, my reply. We can't control the expansive military-industrial complex that conspires against our well-being. Political action cannot override the kind of malicious avarice manifest in the likes of Goldman Sachs. One can't reprogram the faulty logic of a broken world from the top down to the bottom. It must be the reverse: an upward "avalanche" of hearts and minds - individual agents who embody and enact truth, beauty, and goodness (characteristics desperately absent from the global-corporatist machine).

Peace via heirloom tomatoes!

This is the optimistic spirit of my crunchy libertarian pipe-dream, anyway. Meanwhile, there is real satisfaction to be found in escaping, wherever possible, the losing parameters of a rigged game. The six inches between your ears is a good place to start. Another quote purveyed by the editors of Root Simple:
We have to create culture. Don't watch TV, don't read magazines, don't even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you're worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered. You're giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y.

This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. This is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told no, we're unimportant, we're peripheral. Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.

And then you're a player, and you don't even want to play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world. ~ Terence McKenna

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Top of the nineteenth

The bullpen has been empty for five innings and it's starting to feel late.

The backup catcher just pinch-hit for Danys Baez, the Phillies' last pitcher, in the futile bottom of the eighteenth. Now Charlie is negotiating with the homeplate umpire while flipping through his roster as anticipation amongst the hold-out spectators rises to a clamor. After a minute of discussion with a lot of pointing to the field, the players start taking unfamiliar positions: catcher Carlos Ruiz heads to third, thirdbaseman Polanco to second, and starting secondbaseman Wilson Valdez to the mound. To face current National League MVP Joey Votto. This is going to be, um, interesting.

Valdez's arrhythmic eighty-eight mile per hour fastballs produced two fly-outs and a pop-up with no hits by the Reds. His ten-pitch appearance brought the Fightin' Phils to the bottom of the nineteenth, the final and triumphal half-inning of the longest game played to date in Citizens Bank Park.

May 25-26, 2011
Philadelphia: 5
Cincinnati: 4

WP: W. Valdez

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cucumber trellis


TIMBER: 4"x4"x8'(2), 2"x4"x8'(2), 2"x2"x42" pickets(6), 2"x2"x6"(12)
TOOLS: Japanese pull-saw, wood chisel, hammer, drill, screwdriver
HARDWARE: 2-1/4" stainless steel trim screws(70)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Native plants for stormwater bio-filtration

Amelanchier arborea Common Serviceberry
Betula nigra River Birch
Chamaecyparis thyoides Atlantic White Cedar
Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’ Winter King Hawthorne
Ostrya virginiana American Hornbeam
Taxodium distichum Swamp Cypress

Ceanothus americanus New Jersey Tea
Cornus sericea Redosier Dogwood
Ilex glabra Inkberry Holly ‘Densa’
Itea virginica Sweetspire
Myrica pennsylvanica Bayberry
Rhus aromatica Fragrant Sumac ‘Gro-Lo’
Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood Viburnum ‘Blue Muffin’
Viburnum trilobum Cranberrybush Viburnum ‘Compactum’

Aster novae-angliae New England Aster ‘Purple Dome’
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower
Hemerocalis fulva Orange Daylily
Monarda didyama Beebalm ‘Marshall’s Delight’
Pennisetum alopecuroides Dwarf Fountain Grass ‘Hameln’
Rudebeckia hirta
Black-eyed Susan