Thursday, December 30, 2021

It's Becoming Popular

 At least, if you pay attention to various low key but hysterical accounts of our recent past - read that as  donnieland - and our apparently immediate future - read that as donnieland.

I am an extremely lazy commentator when I commentate.

A lot of what I commentate about is so fraught (you know - the great American Divide: donnie is great; donnie is an asshole and a danger to the republic) that being lazy is dangerous; but I am so naturally lazy that I can't stop being so.

Danger be damned.

Our recently sidelined wanna be dictator has had a wide variety of books recently written about him and his past, recent and likely near future activities, and none of them, at least none of which I am aware, are complimentary.

To donnie.

Couple things chosen at random from the donnie cornucopia: 

  • As has been previously asserted he really did make amazing money from his D.C. hotel starting on inauguration day; and no court was or, has been willing to enforce, the emoluments clause of our Constitution. The various floors of his D.C. hotel that have been retained by various foreign countries, etc. are just too revenue rich.
  • donnie has taken in half a billion dollars from his stop the steal campaign. 
  • He can spend that any way he chooses; that's not a bad franchise.
There are many many, more, but I am too lazy to even remember them, let alone research them in order of heinousness. 

But I can draw a conclusion from even that tiny data set.

What I said to a friend on American election returns night 2016 was: "we are so screwed".

What I didn't know then, but know now, is that we had already been taken over by the enemy of democracy: the republicans.

So that night it became obvious that we were screwed, but it took time for that to come to fruition; now the progeny of that rape are about to declare victory.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Sometimes You Get Lucky

Taking pictures of rainbows is - at least for me, usually - a fool's errand.

If I get lucky enough to see one, by the time I get my camera it has either gone away or diminished enough that it isn't worth taking a picture of.

Or, if I have my camera by some fortuitous act of fate and a rainbow appears, I get so excited that I start shooting with some aberrant setting that I had just been using to catch a shot of a hummingbird.

It's always something.

So, the fact that I got this optimum light panorama has to be called an act of god.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Metaverse Part One

This last hour I have been listening to Meghna Chakrabarti discuss that apparently imminent next big thing, The Metaverse.

One of the people she is interviewing is a woman with the title Chief Metaverse Officer.

There is a debating error called begging the question; that is when a debater offers as proof that which itself needs to be proven.

I have discovered in the last half hour that there is a metaverse-discussion-error of equal impact.

Madame Chief Metaverse Officer spent most of her fifteen minutes defining things with definitions that needed defining.

Like with begging the question, meta-defining spreads a veneer of apparently undeniable certainty over a substrate of hogwash and double speak.

As the session came to a close, Meghna managed to elicit agreement to the fact that all the double speak boiled down to "Big Tech needs to sell a lot of new hardware and gather a lot of data from the use of that hardware".

I didn't see anything world shaking in that simple revelation.

But I was dazzled that Meghna could pull anything that coherent out of undefined definitions defining incomprehensible assertions.

Biblical Musings

 Once upon a time the people could not read.

But they had a holy book.

Their priests told them what the holy book said.

It said to burn heretics and stone adulterers and not eat meat on Fridays.

And many other things.

It was good to have those priests because not only couldn't the people read, the holy book was in short supply; only a few were extant; so the priests had to pretend to be reading it (most of them couldn't read either, but they were great pretenders) and life went forward in that manner for ages.

Then some guy invented a way to print words - on paper.

Coincidentally some of the people had figured out how to read by the time that event occurred.

And more and more were learning to read.

A lot of them got pretty pissed.

Now that they could read, and now that they had the words of the holy book on mass produced volumes of paper, they learned that the priests had been lying all those years.

Or at least, they were just making up shit.

The holy book didn't say what the priests had been saying that it said; in fact none of them could agree what it was that the holy book did say.

In any event, the people could see that their holy book didn't say at all what the priests had been saying it said, in fact it said something different to everybody - to each of the people - who read it; and everybody retired to their own corners and got together in small groups and formed sects.

Those sects went on for centuries and ultimately became what have come to be called mega churches.

But all that is history, and history being bunk, we will leave that prong of this story where it lies: in the ditch.

In recent times a phenomenon of surprisingly inverse parallelism to that described above has come forth.

Almost all of the people can read.

And they all read a new holy book.

It is called the Book of the Face.

And the people don't need priests.

They can all read the Book of the Face and they can all know what the great spirit - the One Who Is One (the Great Algorithm) writes incessantly in real time.

The One Who Is One, for example, has revealed the truth of the great sub god, the Orange One; and He has further revealed the truths of the Orange One's devoted companion Qanon, the Deepest of the tribe known as the Influencers.

And new sects are forming under the banner of the Book of the Face.

And all is once again good and as one with the harmony of all things.

Looking forward, a wag has said, "it might have been better if we had stayed with the priests: even though they couldn't read; they were good story tellers."

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Yuletide And All Of That

 This is the card I sent out for 2021.

I thought that the image was so iconic of the season that I chose to have no seasonal salutation.

I Have A Vaccine Passport

 The other day I wondered if there was some way to download my Covid 19 vaccination records to the Health App on my iPhone.

There is and it worked.

It's easy; if you have a HIPPA compliant medical records system - Like My Chart - and if you have sent your providers copies of your vaccination card you can display the QR code, print it and scan it with your camera; the phone recognizes that it should go into the Health App.

Then you have your passport.

Here's the link describing how to do it: 

Get Vaccination Records In Your iPhone

Monday, December 20, 2021

The Preface To A Curious Confluence: From Paris

 Like most people, I have always thought that I had a novel in me.  But I never was able to figure out what it might be about.

That was true until the first time I went to France.

From the first moment I encountered Paris I felt stories shrieking at me to be told.

Every nook, cranny, alley, downspout, petite Place, grande Place, every Passage, monument, church, bridge, bistro and bar screamed “take me; make me part of your story”.  Or “make me your story”.  Or “listen to me: I have your story.”

But it was an odd chance encounter with a non-human fellow creature that served as the inspiration for this – my first - novel.

That encounter occurred early one evening when I had returned to the apartment my wife and had rented on Rue Guissard. 

It was about 1700. It was dark.  I was tired. For reasons I have never been able to ascertain, I didn’t turn on the lights in the apartment when I entered.  Maybe it was because there was ample, blinking low watt, multi-colored illumination coming in from the restaurant sign outside the casements on Rue Guissard, to make the place pleasantly, colorfully, blinkingly dim.  

So I left the light off.

I sat down in a chair and dropped off to sleep.

After an indeterminate time I awoke.  It hadn’t been long.  The sign was blinking.  The room alternated between being drenched in semi darkness and being dimly, colorfully lit.  

I was giving serious thought to a glass of wine.

Then I heard something.  

I have reasonably acute hearing for some things; I am virtually deaf to others. The things that I always seem to hear have something to do with animals; frequently those sounds are the sounds of small animals. Such was the case on this occasion.

What I had heard was a mouse.  It was sitting not far from me bathed in the oscillating multi-colored light and was eating crumbs from the breakfast baguette and croissants.

I was entranced.

He or she sat there and finished the meal. When it finished I swear I thought it nodded its head in my direction as if acknowledging my presence.  Then it went back to some place from which it had come.

I sat there happily.

I have always liked mice.

Although most of the places, and a few of the occurrences, in this book are substantially real everything else is imagined. 


A Bill From Hell??

 The extra sixes seem ominous.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Paris In Black And White

 The best images of Paris were taken by Eugene Atget.

He had a huge old camera that he lugged around Paris.

He lugged it up into Notre Dame.

He lugged it down the streets that I wander when I am home.

He did all that before color images were possible.

Here is an homage to him and his greyscale images.

Paris Withdrawal

The first time I went to Paris was in 1999.

I had never wanted to go to Paris.

I had never given a moment's desirous thought to going to France.

I was like a lot of male Americans; I didn't know much about France, but I knew that I didn't need to know even the small amount that I knew; why would a red blooded 'Merican ever want to go to France?

But my wife was going to go with some friends of ours on a ten-day sojourn to Paris; one of those friends had set up the tour.

I decided out of some sort of solidarity need with my wife to go also.

I have never really ever come back.

Starting in the first hour, on a walk down Avenue des Champs-Élysées - we had opted to abandon our tour fellows who were going to McDonald's at Etois Charles de Gaulle - I began to have an out of body experience: from knowing that I had no use for France I had suddenly become aware of the fact that I had always lived there, and didn't ever want to live anywhere else.

I have no idea to this moment what that was all about; but it happened; and I have never changed my mind about it.

By the time we broached the front of the Marriott Champs-Élysées I was a Parisian, or a Frenchman, or, more likely, had found my ancient Celtic soul.

Whatever it was, it was unexpected, and it was wonderful.

We left Paris for 'Merica ten days later.

Several months later my wife emailed me an article from the Seattle Times about a property rental company in Paris that a lot of Seattle residents used for apartment rental.  

The article had links to descriptions of cartiers where the firm had apartments; as I read the descriptions I began to have a distinct need to go back; withdrawal syndrome I have come to call it; before 1999 was gone we had gone back and rented our first apartment, for a month.

That was on rue Visconte.

I have lived in Paris all over two or three arrondissements: on Ile de la Cité (where I wrote A Curious Confluence) over by Tour Eiffel in the 7th and on rue Jacob across from the apartment where James Baldwin once lived, and several other places.

That apartment on rue Jacob was just down the rue from where Americans and Frenchmen worked out the terms of co-operation that allowed the United States to exist.

Back in the Eighteenth Century.

In 2002 I started going to Paris alone; my wife - even though she was my tour guide down Champs-Élysées that day in 1999 - and she had attended le Sorbonne in the sixties, she just didn't find Paris to be as compelling as I have found her to be since that day on the Champs-Élysées.

Since 1999 my longest time in Paris has been five months - that was 2012; I celebrated my 70th birthday with Ann Claire, Joe and Mysti - and Alice the Citrouille cat - at la Citrouille, one of my favorite places in the world.

The withdrawal syndrome usually waits for a month or two to begin badgering me; when it does I always email Thierry, my landlord, and reserve again.

One time though, I was on the plane back from Paris and was watching a movie: Midnight in Paris; I emailed Theirry as soon as I had a network.

And I reserved my Paris home - the apartment that, for so much of the last twenty two years, has been where I live in paris; there is even a brass plaque with my name on my mailbox: 25 rue Guenéguad 75006.

I have been absent from Paris since December 2018.

I hope I live to go back.

To my real home.

Are There Any Republicans Left?

 Now that Ol' Joe from West Virginia has shown his republican colors by cancelling a better life for millions of Americans it seems necessary to ask if there are there any real Republicans left.

I guess the answer is maybe.

There are two or three that don't seem to be in donnie's thrall.

Maybe they can be enlisted in moving the ball forward for most of us, rather than taking the ball off the field as has been done today by @WVACOALMILLIONAIRE. 

He's a senator, you know.

If that were to happen - two or three Republicans moving to the correct side of history - we could begin to see the end of Arizona Tinkerbell and Ol' Joe from Charleston and their ridiculous and embarrassing brief chapter in our history.

I guess even senators get their fifteen minutes.

If We Make It Through December

 December often looks pretty bleak.

This one is especially so.

Omicron is doubling every few days.

That means 2 becomes 4,294,967,296 in fifteen or twenty days.

West Virginia has decided not to improve the lot of most Americans; let them eat coal.

Mandates are bad unless they force women to have unwanted children.

Then they are good - constitutional, even.

The recent insurrection - the one that was supposed to install a dictator for life - is being swept under the rug by its perpetrators.

The rapist and criminal who fomented the insurrection is being held harmless for all his crimes and may get back in office soon.

And we can't even vote our way out of this mess this time; too many decks have been stacked against too many voters.

I have had some personally bleak times and they have always seemed to come to a head in December.

There is a song that has always gotten me through - December, and beyond.

Here it is for all of us.

Friday, December 17, 2021

A Lot Of Images

Venice is more magical than any words I have ever heard about it. 

Grape like things in Seattle ( a place that I don't hate anywhere near as much as I thought I would).

Le Départ St Michel in Paris (a City that I love so much more than I ever thought I could love any town, even Portland)

On l'Ile des Cynges

Tongue in cheek is the French religion.

Why Safeway is a joke.

Down on river level looking at Pont Neuf

When she still had the spire: a view with Pont de la Tournelle in the foreground

That spire again

I have no idea where this is, but I had a good time taking its picture.

In front of Musée d'Orsay

Jardin du Luxembourg

Life on the Seine

Life on the Seine

Life on the Seine

Life on the Seine

Life on the Seine

What can I say?

L'Arsenal de Paris: the local moorage

Ceramic in a cemetery

A sidewalk scene in Paris

L'Arsenal in Autumn

My favorite rainy day haunt: l'Aquarium Tropical de Paris

New Zealand: this is where Gandolph and Shadowfax flew across the screen.

Thistledown is a magic substance.

I've never figured out how I took this picture; the legs are mine,

Moondown on San Juan Channel

Golden is the crown of this sparrow.

Bees are great subjects.

I think this was in a restaurant in Bretagne.

In Florence

 Deux Chevaux

Harbor St Barbe in Bretagne

Early morning the light was just right.

Fun to watch them try to eat what they catch.

Ted Lasso Update

 We have watched season one for the third time.

Finished that last week.

We just completed the Christmas show, which is in season two, for the third time.

Most series wait for five or six seasons for a Christmas episode, so Lasso is pretty gutsy doing it in season two; I guess that's why the Lasso Christmas episode is the best Christmas episode in history.

It had to be.

So it was.

Streaming really has changed the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Stealing Senator Merkley's Words

I have been ranting for months about the fact that our elected representatives are fine with spending seven tenths of a trillion dollars yearly on military waste but can't see spending one hundred and seventy-five billion dollars yearly (that's way, way, way less than seven tenths of a trillion) on the betterment of our country and improvement of the lives of the American people.

I have made at least three posts to this blog on that subject.

People like the Democratic senator from West Virginia and the one from Arizona and all the republicans are nervous about wasting money on the American people.

But when asked to spend seven hundred billion a year for planes that don't fly in the rain and aircraft carriers that have toilets that cost $400,000 to flush and all the other stuff that is bought yearly by an organization that has an accounting system that is so screwed up it can't, or at least hasn't been, audited in years, or maybe ever; no-one really knows, they vote enthusiastically aye.

And they are going to be fine with spending that (with pre-requisite yearly uplift) next year and the year after and on to infinity.

When I got this email today I was pretty excited: somebody that the people elected actually can think!


Today, the U.S. Senate took up the annual policy bill for the Pentagon. It's generally considered one of those "must pass" bills that "everyone" votes for.

Well, Noel, you know what? I voted no.

In the last century our nation's strength was built on military might. But in the 21st century our success as a nation will be based on investments in infrastructure and education. The countries that do the best jobs investing in those areas will be the countries that thrive.

Consider the choice we face: We're voting on a budget for the Pentagon that is over $750 billion for just one year. And yet the "controversial" Build Back Better plan to tackle the climate crisis, invest in health care and education, and reduce the cost of living is $1.75 trillion over ten years.

On an annual basis, the Pentagon budget is more than quadruple the investment we're making in the American people through the Build Back Better plan.

So, I voted no for more money to the Pentagon. And I'm holding the line on Build Back Better.




Friday, December 10, 2021

And Another Thing - About The Entertainment World

 We are imminently going to embark on binge three of season one of Ted Lasso.

We are really glad that season two is in the wings - for binge three.

And Emily in Paris is going to be out pretty soon.

Or is it already?

A Different Version Of Joanne: The Way It Sounded On The Radio

 This is the record, I think.

I like the live performance a lot - previous post - but this has a tempo that carries the lyrics better, I think.

Michael Nesmith Died Today

I have always thought this is one of the great songs of the last hundred years.


Monday, December 6, 2021

donnie's new social network

 Devin Nunes?

donnie the dildo?

Sounds more like a horror movie to me.

Than a social network.

But who knows?

The dildo was 45.

I guess.

So anything can happen.

Especially in dildo-land.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

More Images 5 December 2021

One of my favorite views - from Pont de la Tournelle 

In front of Musee d'Orsay

They do that with a helicopter.

This thing lays cable.

That's why they are called golden crowned.

I've always wondered what's being eaten there.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Noel McKeehan: Paragon Of Self Control

 Think of all the things one would normally have expected me to have blurted out with uncontolled and uncontrollable venom about the Crumbleys.

Starting with their name.

I would normally have been merciless.

But not today.

They look like God-fearing Christians to me.

And that's all I need to let people into my inner circle of admiration.

I'm sure you are all aware of that.

Or the fact that when their kid's school (the kid who shot 11 people, killing 4 of them) prior to the shooting, contacted them, telling THE CRUMBLEYS that their kid had been observed trying to buy ammunition with his cell phone, they did nothing. 

Actually, that's not completely accurate: the mother texted the kid "LOL, just I'm not mad. Just next time, don't get caught"

What more could one expect from a loving mother?

Or the choice of gift guns that the dad bought for the kid: a 9 mm Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol.

Clearly the better choice would have been any of the Glocks; but I bit my tongue and kept quiet.

There is so much more that I haven't bloggingly raved about, that I could have raved about, but won't rave about; I continue to hold my tongue. 

I have bought in completely to the prevalent assertion that it is much better to dialogue with the morons, deviants, Fasco-Christians, racists, republicans and other forms of single cellular life replete in our country today.

Or at least do as little as is possible to stir them all up into one of their mock frenzies.

And I have conducted myself thus since this crumbley nightmare fell upon our land.

I have to compliment the Christian Crumbleys though, they didn't wear their MAGA hats for their promotion photos: book deal imminent.