Thursday, July 23, 2009


A Chip Off the Ol' Turd, and Farewell

The beat goes on, I guess...

It just isn't a rhythm I want to tap out any more.

First The Dick, then The Dotter.

It's all too crazy. Time to hang it up.

Spousie can barely stand to read the news anymore, and I'm starting to see why. Who wants to think about Sarah Palin's Next Step, or even know who the so-called Birthers are?

I'm thinking about when I used to backpack in the high country out of Yosemite. It was fine, trudging mile after mile, but not glamorous or anything. At night we'd take off our hats and see whose hairdo was the worst. We'd identify wildflowers and construct elaborate lines for hanging food away from the bears. Then it'd be one foot before the other, day after day.

That's all incidental to the way we'd feel when we'd come out of the wilderness some days later. Back to Yosemite, we'd be among all the tourist noise again. Cars would whiz around. Vending machines dropped candy bars. Gas flowed from pumps, sending vapors into the air. It was jarring.

As is this particular news cycle. It's more than significant that Walter Cronkite is no longer among us. The news isn't the news anymore. I'm fine with Jon Stewart being our most trusted news source in this mad-tumbling time. His is the only show with anything like institutional memory. The rest are, as Stephen Colbert told the DC Press Club, stenographers, duty-bound to Represent The Ideas of the latest wing-nuts. Then the rest of us can hop in and talk about the tin-foil hats. It's old.

Fact is, though, I'm in no position to do anything better. I can only riff on what other people occasionally uncover, and that seems pretty third-hand to me. Other people do it better.

I want to find what it is that I can do. I have no idea what I mean by that. I do know that the act of discovery has to be the new assignment.

So thanks for stopping by. Perhaps we'll meet in some other context. In the meantime, as Walter used to say, That's the way it is.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Tuesday Rant

...But can she be impartial? So Sonia Sotomayor is, according to the ABA, supremely qualified to be a Supreme. Now the assholes on the Other Side of the Aisle wonder if she, as a non-white, non-male can "understand America," can be "impartial." I guess the role model is supposed to be Clarence "Clarabelle" Thomas. Yikes. This after the appointment of Dubya's two ideologues who make no effort to be impartial at all.

So she changed her clothes on the plane. So shut up, already. Why, oh why does the press get so excited when Michelle gets on Air Force One in one ensemble, only to be in another when she deplanes? Are they fantasizing her in her undies or something? The woman just wants to get off fresh, you idiots. She doesn't want to greet foreign dignitaries with deep creases, dummies. I have lost all respect for the HuffPo (if I had any left) for even linking to this.

Rest in peace, Michael. Your antics with children made me crazy, but long ago you were a fresh lesson in overinvolving my ordinary self with the lives of celebrities. F. Scott said it best: the rich are very different from you and me. I don't know whether you were innocent or guilty of the charges against you, and I disagree with my pal Zippie's emotional assessment, but you were a hell of an entertainer, and it's time to let you be. I sure don't envy your children, even if you were a peachy dad. You have left them.

I do wish the following people would disappear permanently (after making better arrangements for their offspring than Michael did): Jon and Kate and Sarah Palin.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


Our Own Beer Garden!

Oh, how gay the summer months are here!

Ask a Real Vermonter about summer, and s/he replies, "In Vermont summer comes every year. If it comes on a Sunday, we take a picnic." A-har!

It's been raining for the last week, with more to come, even on the 4th of July. Our beloved gardens are awash in slugs. Spousie has to soak all our lettuce (and we have had bushels of it) in buckets of salt water to dislodge all the slugs before we have the big ol' salads that dominated the dinner menu in the month of June. Everywhere I look, I see slugs.

We aren't poison-happy gardeners. I did use over a bag of Escar-go to slow down the parade. But our yard is so big and in parts so overgrown that we've had to consecrate the beer garden.

A Beer Garden! The very term summons to mind lasses in dirndls and lads in Tyrolean hats, moving merrily to the sounds of an oompah band. Here in Vermont it means no more than moving serenely to the Great Beyond in a can of beer.

We bury cans with the cheapest beer we can find near various plant-heavy parts of the garden. In the wee hours slugs emerge, head for the brewskis, and fall into one last grand frat party. What a way to go, I tell myself. Should I run into a slug during my usual garden chores, I invite him out for a tall cool one. How about a beer? I ask jovially.

Some sages tell us that we can use alcohol-free beer, but I think that is unnecessary, even cruel. No, slugs, if you are going to meet your maker in our humble yard, rest assured that you will go out in style.


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