Friday, January 28, 2022

A Random Image

 I am going to look into the recent images file and see if there is anything that might interest y'all.

Here it/they is/are.

Yellow Bird On The Seine

 Every time I walk the river level quai from Pont Neuf to les Berges I see a type of bird whose name I don't know.

It's a pretty bird.

And it's yellow.

Anybody know what it is?

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Bubbles On A Bridge

 The bridge from île de St-Louis to île de la Cité is a major venue for buskers and such.

One of my favorite formats is the bubble show.

Monday, January 24, 2022

I Thought Hearing Was The Last To Go

 I have been watching BBC America as I often do at this time of night.

Inevitably the coverage got around to the Prime Minister and his shaky grasp on principled behavior.

I was getting lulled into a semi-hypnotic state when I was brought abruptly awake.

I thought I heard someone call Ol' Boris a "Motherless Skunk".

From the depths of my soul, I wish I really thought that I had heard that; but I think I had just better get my hearing checked.

I AM going to retain the term for future use.

Hallucinations can be life changing.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ka Klunk Ka Klunk Ka Klunk

 When I was much younger, when I was, really in some other life, and existed as some other life form, the beings I had been dealt as what was called then parents had moved monumentally forward and had enhanced my life - or so I then believed - immeasurably.

They had bought a Kaye-Halbert TV set.

Portland had gotten its first TV station - KPTV, I think it was called - in, I think this is right, 1952.

That event spawned a local star: Tarantula Ghoul.

By the time the Kaye-Halbert had showed up at 1407 NE 17th, I think Portland had, in addition to KPTV, the three networks.

Maybe KPTV had become a network station by then; I just don't remember.

But it turns out, that this is a hardware story, not an affiliate story.

The Kaye-Halbert set had a remote control.

It was remote in the sense that it could be invoked from some distance, and change channels. that distance being defined by the length of the flat piece of plastic with two copper wires imbedded and two "C" shaped connectors that spanned the distance from the TV to, I guess was the assumption, the couch. 

All one needed to do was to connect the connectors to their home port screws on the TV.

I have no idea what sort of market research must have underpinned the length of that flat piece of plastic, but, in my parents' case, it was long enough.

It reached the couch.

The control itself was massive by today's standards: it was a thing about the size of a box of wooden matches.

But it worked.

Ka Klunk Ka Klunk Ka Klunk, it said as you moved from channel to channel,


As I am writing this, I am rather happy that, for a fraction of the cost that I used to pay to Comcast for several hundred channels of stuff that I never watched, I am now paying a few content providers a few dollars a month for some of the best content in human history: Ted Lasso, Emily in Paris, Reading the News, Finch, and Don't Look Up.

Just to pick a few.

What would convert that happiness to sublimity, though, is if I could get "ka klunk ka klunk" back.

Can somebody out there give us an app that ka klunks across platforms?

A Different Deadly Virus

 A long time ago somehow some European hares were brought to Lopez Island.

Inevitably some got loose.

Over time the liberated hares interbred with any native rabbits that might have already been here.

Also, occasional escapes of American domestic rabbits got into the mix.

That population used to be a fairly common and good-looking bunch of wild rabbits.

Several years back cases of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus began to be reported on a neighboring island.

We all wondered how long it would take for the virus to figure out how to ride the ferry to Lopez.

It took about three years as near as I have been able to time it.

We don't see any wild rabbits anymore.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Ukraine Vs Russia: Addendum

 Maybe 50 C-130/MOABs.

Eleven pounds per Russian seems more to the point.

That might be enough to fling the hamburger and metal shards all the way to Moscow.

Fed-Ex is weak in Eastern Europe.; they get stuck in Troutdale.

Ukraine Vs Russia: A Couple Of Ideas

 I guess we need to wait a few weeks for the ground to freeze fully enough to allow the traverse of Russian armor into Ukraine; if they are going to go, they will go then (having your tanks sink in mud is still thought to harm their usefulness).

We have a conventional bomb that has a yield of 11 tons of TNT; some call it MOAB - the mother of all bombs.

They can be delivered by C-130 aircraft.

It would seem to me that ten C-130/MOABs should be given to the Ukranian air force.

That would be 2.2 pounds of TNT per Russian invader.

Sounds about right.

Alternately, if that many dead Russians sounds like NATO over-reach, I suggest we invite the Russians to join NATO.

Paris Seen Differently

 Every now and then accidental camera settings deliver interesting results.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Two Recent WTFs

 Verizon and AT&T are finally spending the money to play in the Twenty First Century networking business; they have shifted money from advertising campaigns touting their non-existent 5G networks to actually deploying 5G networks.

Their deployment started in 2020 when they bought bandwidth from the US Federal Government.

There wasn't a peep of resistance to that purchase or the deployment of the networks that would reside on that bandwidth until a few days ago.

Suddenly the American airline industry sees a looming catastrophe: it looks to them as if the frequency of the bandwidth purchased by AT&T and Verizon are too close to the frequency of the airlines' landing control systems; leakage across the spectrums might be possible.

Europe and Asia already have 5G with no detrimental effect to their airlines.

I, erroneously, recently posted that those airlines had kept their landing control systems leak proof by iterative investment in improved control systems; the truth is, they had accepted the recommendations of their communications regulatory commissions and airline regulatory commissions to buy frequencies quite distant from future 5G-likely frequencies, totally far enough away from each other to make "leakage" a moot point - just a talking point for some hysterical minority somewhere.

So, what I attributed in that post to investment by Asian and European airlines - a system not leakable to 5G - was really the product of Asian and European regulatory competence: their "FAA' and their "FCC"  talk to each other.

Why don't the FCC and the FAA talk to each other?



The Russian military - defense - budget in 2020 was 61.7 billion dollars.

That was down a few billion from the previous year.

I don't know what the 2021 budget was.

The US Senate, including Tinkerbell and the Coal Troll recently passed the American military - defense - budget for fiscal 2022: 768 billion dollars.

For one year.

Noticing that one of our candidate client states - Ukraine - is about to be invaded and taken over by Russia, I have to ask: "WTF". 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Inside Le Départ St-Michel


"Don't Need No Stinkin' Upgrades Or Preventive Maintenance Around Here"

 Pacific Gas and Electric produces money by sending natural gas and electricity into homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and any place else that wants to be warm or have light after dark.

Quite a few neighborhoods and towns have been burned down by PG&E in the last couple years.

To provide all that gas and electricity requires what can best be analogized as a "machine" of near cosmic complexity.

Like all machines PG&E's needs constant inspection, upgrade and maintenance; in the absence of those activities that cosmically complex machine will gradually decay and break down.

But doing those things is really expensive.

And expense doesn't contribute to enhancing returns and shareholder value.

So the PG&Eers decided they didn't need to do all that expensive stuff: "we've been fine so far" they said; "we'll probably be fine in the future; if it ain't broke don't fix it".

But then little things began to break dropping power lines sparking and flashing into piles of tinder and Paradise became hell.

One of the failing components was a hundred year old iron hook; after a hundred years it rusted out (how odd) broke, dropped its line and set another really big fire.

I guess that's American Capitalism at its finest.

5G is going to be one of the most significant components of the future of the human race.

That's because its inherent ubiquity, granularity and raw speed will allow the internet of things to become a reality: if one wants to one will be able to tie one's pacemaker real time to one's HIPPA compliant medical records system; I assume there will be myriad more useful, or more interesting, permutations and combinations of the impending infinite number of things with unlimited access to a blinding fast, always on, and everywhere connection protocol.

At least that's what Asia and Europe have thought.

They have had 5G deployed for some time now.

"Not so fast" has been heard incessantly from America's telecoms carriers.

"That 5G costs a lot of money; what about return to and enhancement of shareholder value"?

But some of them are finally deploying 5G, having decided to spend some money on the actual "thing" rather than spending money on advertisements touting their non-existent 5G networks.

But the airlines have started yelling about 5G interfering with the airline control systems.

"5G is too close to our control frequencies" they are shouting; "there can be leaking between them and that will spell catastrophe".

The telecoms carriers have pointed out that 5G is deployed in Asia and Europe with no complaint from the airlines.

"Yeah, but that's because over time Asian and European airlines have invested a lot of money upgrading their control systems so they don't leak; that wreaks havoc on return to and enhancement of shareholder value".

Makes me wonder what they did with the 65 billion we sent them last year.

Paris Still Lifes

 Not "lives"; "still life" is a compound noun made plural by adding an "s".

Monday, January 17, 2022

Tinkerbell And The Coal Troll

Who am I referring to with these fanciful nicknames?

OK, I'll tell you: Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Joseph Manchin.

Why am I using nicknames instead of their - perfectly usable - real names and real titles?

OK, I'll tell you: because they are both living in their own little fabulous fable, totally independent of common humanity or widely accepted reality.

Only "characters" with fanciful names inhabit fabulous fables, not "Senators".

So I needed to cast them as characters, not as Senators.

Since both are occupying his or her independent little bubble in space and time why am I putting them together in an amalgamated statement?

OK, I'll tell you.

It's because their little fantasies have an effect on the rest of us that cause their bubbles to merge.

And that effect and that merger are easily discerned and easily described.

They each have just enough power to affect the future of the rest of us with malign result; when they exit the stage, only the smell of pointless and aimless willfulness will remain.

Or, said another way, they will leave a wispy little fog floating above the ruins of a presidency that the rest of us all desperately wanted to be successful.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

An Excerpt From A Curious Confluence

 At first the sound – sounds really – was a barely audible babble. But then it began to take on a fully audible level. And I could begin to recognize the nature of the sounds.

I heard the sound of men.  It was the sound of men shouting in anger.  No identifiable words were discernable, but the nature of what the words probably were sounded as if they were of the same sort that I had heard only hours before when I had passed to the other side of the door outside my apartment.  They had that same Gaelic flavor.  But those words had dripped with solemnity.  These words were replete with intense anger.

I got up and went to the table.

Both pieces of flint were pulsing.  Both were emanating sound.  

I looked into the glow.

I was immediately drawn in, visually, to a full scale presentation of what was occurring.  It was as if I had been sucked into the events occurring within the glowing flint.

It was the beach that I had seen twice before, once from being on it, once from the description of it in the journal.

It was the man that I had never actually seen but whom I felt as if I knew intimately.  He was clad in skins.  He had apparently just drawn up his dugout to the sandy shore and had just stepped upon the strand and had just begun walking in the opposite direction from that which he had come, leaving the dugout behind.

The noise was, obviously, coming from the boatman’s direction of travel.  There was a crowd of men who were clad similarly to the boatman.  They were running down the beach toward him.  In the lead was one who was so familiar to me that a pang went through me.  It was Gargantua of recent pigeon drop fame.

At this point I almost quit watching.  I almost convinced myself that I was in another of the intense and bizarre dreams that had been dogging my existence for weeks; but I kept watching.

As the two contingents came together, the boatman from one direction and the crowd from the other, the boatman did an odd thing.

He stopped dead in his tracks. He raised his hand. That hand was holding something in its curved finger tips.  I could not see what that something was.  

One of the two pieces of flint on the table became brighter and brighter and brighter.  It almost went to a blue white level of intensity. I was thankful that I wasn’t seeing smoke arise from the table.  Apparently the intensity was of a nature that had no heat associated with it.  

That was good. 

I could not see the scene in that piece of flint any more.  

The other one had a different scene, a familiar scene.  It was what I had seen when I had entered the other door on my floor only hours before. Recent though that had been it now seemed now to be from and in another lifetime.

It was the same scene except that the woman and the dog were not there.  There was only the circle of fires, and this time, there was a group of men in rustic robes of skin and fur.  And at their head was again, Gargantua.  The table was there but there was no one on it.  

I turned away.  I dropped my head into my hands and started crying, deep heaving sobs. 

“You have only one chance left” came into my head.   

The first flint, the one that had gone blue white and had ceased yielding images began to glimmer down.

As it reached amber, I could see a scene again.  The boatman was still standing with his left hand raised, fingers arched, and something held aloft in that arch.  And I could see the reddened squirrel skin of the tip of the middle finger.

Gargantua and the others were closing on him.

 He didn’t move a muscle or an inch.

Gargantua had some kind of weapon. It looked as if it were a Club somewhat on the order of a very large baseball bat.  Instead of being completely rounded it was flattened leaving it with two broad faces and two narrow edges.  It was made of wood, probably oak.  In the narrow leading and trailing edges were mounted – four on each edge – large spear points. They were probably flint.  The tip was adorned with its own even larger spear point.  The thing was a Club bristling with murderous penetrating and slashing devices.  Gargantua raised it vertically in front of him as he ran, closing on the boatman.  The others, running behind, raised their similar devices similarly.

But it was Gargantua who got there first.  He swung the thing – the weapon – in such a manner that the large front mounted spear point crossed the boatman’s wrist and severed the hand.  The hand fell to the sand.  It looked as if some sort of death grip of that hand had retained whatever it was that had been held aloft.  Nothing bounced forth upon the sand from its grip.

The crowd behind Gargantua finished the boatman.

He was chopped to bits and left for the carrion birds of morning.

Paris - Les Tuileries - In The Snow

 I have been in Paris for snow events several times.

The snow always makes that beautiful place even more beautiful.

This was one day in 2012 looking out on les Tuileries.

Waiting For The Axe To Fall

 On Thursday donnie will have been out of office for a year.

I would have thought that by now he would be on his way to jail.

Instead he is scheduling interviews with NPR so he can hang up on Steve Inskeep.

Here are some things I would have expected action to have been taken on.


Seditious Conspiracy

Tax Evasion

Criminally Asymmetric Bookkeeping

Election Law Violation

Obstruction of Justice

One of the characteristics of a healthy democracy is vigorous application of a rule of law.

So Far So Good

 I entered "" and got to this site without crashing.

Maybe Tuesday.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Tiny Frogs And A Huge Bonfire

Here is an excerpt from Screen Saver.

 As the house on Lake Champetra had begun to take form I frequently went to the site to see how Ken was progressing with the project.  I had been standing on the wall-less first floor – the ceiling of the basement – when the first space shuttle made its successful maiden voyage.  I heard about it as it was occurring on Ken’s portable radio.  On another occasion I had gotten to the building site mid afternoon in an abnormally warm and steamy wet, post downpour, late autumn day.  After checking the progress and talking to Ken about the likelihood of Joe and me being able to move in as planned just before Thanksgiving I had decided to walk down in the woods and look around.  It was late enough in the year that the leaves were all off the trees and the forest floor that afternoon had been covered with the recently dead and more recently dropped and even more recently rain saturated foliage of the black walnuts, the hickories, the red oaks and the white oaks.  I had been savoring the smell and had been feeling the steaminess of everything when I noticed something.  There were what seemed to be thousands, and most certainly must have been at the most conservative estimate, hundreds of frogs.  They were small, almost tiny frogs, perhaps half the size of the Pacific Tree Frogs that I had grown up with.  They were everywhere and they were just sort of “there”; they weren’t really moving but seemed to be sort of looking around as if they were confused or stunned.  My presence didn’t make them jump away or hide; they just looked at me, or at each other, or at the fallen leaves and exuded an air of disorientation, if that sort of air is possible for a small amphibian to exude. They had seemed confused to me.  After some time walking around among them and picking a few up for examination I had gone back to the car and had gone back to Jefferson City.  As I drove back to the apartment on the hill above the Mode O’ Day I mused about how nice it was going to be to have that kind of population of frogs joining me every fall.  

I never in the three years that I lived there saw another of that type of tiny frog in the woods.  I looked every fall, but they were never there.

What was there, and had remained there after construction was a huge pile of brush and cedars that had been removed to allow the dynamite people to blast the foundation for my basement out of the limestone. Any of the hardwoods that had been removed had been sold.  After building a house in Atlanta I should have remembered that gambit and should have made the proceeds from that sale be part of the house building deal in my financial favor but I had proved to be untrainable as a timber baron. So Ken had gotten the financial benefit and I had gotten the pile of stuff nobody wanted.  It was piled up on the shoreline.  When Joe and I had moved in just before Thanksgiving it had snowed and the pile had looked like a small mountain down by the lakeshore.  It had remained snow covered for the balance of the winter, and other than being a topographic abnormality it had begun to fade into being an accepted part of the landscape.  But when spring had removed the snow and time and winter cold had reduced it to an ugly pile of dead brown, intensely tangled tree trunks and branches it had become an irritant and an eyesore.  As time had gone on I became more desirous by the day to get rid of it, but I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it.  Even if somebody had been willing or had been able to get some kind of trash removal vehicle up the goat trail that was passing for my driveway it would have taken several trips to remove the entire pile and the task of untangling it and dragging it up the slope to the driveway would have been monumental; I had visions of needing a second mortgage – and interest rates were at that time fourteen percent – to finance that project.  So the pile had remained and had become uglier and browner.

Occasionally I had thought that I remembered Ken muttering something about burning the pile one of the times that I had tried to engage him in the discussion of removing it as a cleanup component of the construction project.

Time had gone by.  The pile had become even uglier and even browner.  I wanted to get rid of it more with every passing day.  Joe and I talked about the idea of burning the pile. Joe, even when he had been only ten or eleven years old had always had a mechanic’s or engineer’s sense about him; when Mysti and I had bought things requiring assembly we always had Joe put them together and he was always able to do it and do it quickly and correctly, and always with only one try.  So by the time of the great brown pile on the lakeshore I had come to depend heavily upon Joe’s opinion of the practicality of the various physical or mechanical tasks that seemed to always be dogging me. He thought that we could probably burn the pile without setting the house on fire or starting a forest fire; but he did concur that it would be an awfully large fire and one which, once underway, would go until it had run out of pile and before, hopefully it had raised anything surrounding it to kindling temperature.  In spite of the ambivalence of that opinion I had opted to do it.

One cold, recently wet, and not at all windy Saturday in late April we doused the pile with some gasoline from the chainsaw’s fuel can, threw in some matches and stood back in wonder as the thing took off.  We must have experienced a feeling similar to that experienced by the scientists who had watched the first nuclear explosion at Los Alamos.  Once it was under way there was no way to stop it and where it went other than the pile if it went anywhere other than the pile was obviously going to be completely beyond our control.  Those scientists, like Joe and me, had all the theoretic proof they had needed that the bomb wouldn’t start an unstoppable chain reaction, but they weren’t to know for sure until they had set the thing off.  I knew that feeling the day of the great Lake Champetra bonfire.

As it turned out the pile was, for a number of hours a spectacular event on our shoreline but it finally went out having reduced the pile to nothing but a little ash.  Nothing ever grew within several feet of the epicenter of the blaze.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

How Fascism Works

As usual, Amanpour & Co. doesn't pull any punches: we are in imminent danger. 


Friday, January 7, 2022

They Really Believe The Lies

 Initially, as the donnie movement took shape, dimension and direction, I shrugged.

"I guess a lot of us don't have enough to do" I said to myself.

But then he was elected.

"I guess we'll have to see if he has staying power" I said to myself.

Staying power was still in the future when on inauguration day he started lying: "biggest inauguration day crowd in history".

That was the first of tens of thousands of lies down through the next four years.

But the Capital Lie - the Big Lie - was kept to the end: he decided to say that he had won the 2020 election even though he had lost handily.

"I guess that will fall on deaf ears" I said to myself.

But it didn't.

Fall on deaf ears.

The ears of millions of morons were listening and believed.

And a large minority of Americans started shouting "stop the steal".

"They are just throwing a tantrum" I said to myself.

But they weren't throwing a tantrum; they really believed that donnie had been robbed.

When I accepted the fact that the donnies all really believe that he had the election stolen from him something else fell into place in my understanding of things.

Somewhere between 64% to 87% of Americans believe in god.

Americans come in an amazing number of religious flavors, but the main ones are Christian, Jew, Mormon and Muslim.

Those are the so-called Triad, with late breaking news coming from the fourth, the Mormons who seem to mix Islam with George R. Martin.

The Jews were, by most accounts (the Egyptians probably were really the ones) the first humans to decide to stew down to one all the forces of time, tide, nature and happenstance that they had previously worshipped as separate gods into one pissed off mother of a god.

But the Christians were the first to take the mono god to prime time.

After Pentecost the 12 went out on business sales trips all over the Roman empire.

Having a huge geography peaceably cowed to Rome made a perfect sales environment for the apostles and their franchisees.

I have read opinions that St Paul - the 13th Apostle - had the first, and to this day one of the most successful, franchise operations in history.

Islam had a guy who thought the idea of a holy book as the basis for a religion was a bang-up concept, so he wrote a holy book from scratch.

And that turned out well.

And the Mormons were founded by a guy who liked the Muslim model, so he wrote his own holy book.

All four of these religions are monotheistic.

The Roman Catholic version of those "monotheists" belies that belief.

The following is a brief explanation of the Triune God of Christianity, as remembered from my high school religion class. 

God the Father, the omni Being (omni-present, omni-scient, omni-potent, etc.) is, always has been, and always will be. As the ultimately intelligent of beings, self-awareness, is, always has been, and always will be one of His characteristics. That self-awareness, emanating as it does from an omni-being (-scient et al) is a separate being, and, of necessity, co-exists, has co-existed and will co-exist with its source.  That co-existing being - the Son, the Christ, due to its source must of necessity be co-equal and therefore also be omni-.  As these two beings have perceived, do perceive and will perceive one another, over all time and outside of all time, they have perceived, do perceive and will perceive perfection (one of the heretofore unlisted omnis). That perception also is, was and will be a being co-equal - the Holy Ghost.

Sounds like Polytheism wrapped in bullshit to me.

And then there is that cannibal thing of the "body and blood" at consecration and communion.

But somewhere between 64% and 87% of Americans believe that stuff.

So how can I be surprised that they believe donnie and the big lie?

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

I Had A Dream ...

 ... Recently.

I was in a bar - it looked a lot like my favorite bar in the world, the bar in The Galley on Lopez Island.

It was an odd dream.

One odd thing - dreams always being replete with odd and amorphizing things - was that Jeff was bartender; Jeff is the the owner, so having him tend bar in my dream was a sort of ethereal honor to something, maybe me?

But odder still, The Galley is defunct, gone for a couple of years, now a roadside monument to time and tide.

But having Jeff in my dream was a real upper.

He and I were talking about donnie the dildo and laughing about how donnie had almost overturned the 2020 election.

That in itself was dream-odd; neither of us outside of a dream would have been laughing about a nearly successful overthrow of our Country.

But we were laughing and paying attention to one another and our cause de gayety.

So we hadn't noticed that another guy had come in and sat down at the bar.

Jeff and I were the only people in the bar until then.

"Any way to get a drink in this dive"?

Jeff and I winced.

"Shitheads usually have to wait their turn" Jeff retorted without taking a breath.

(That also was dream-odd; Jeff is always the gentleman's gentleman.)

"I aint no shithead; I'm from West Virginia".

"And that makes me a Montagnard".

Remembering the French Revolution (I told you, this was an odd dream) I composed a retort, snappy, I thought. 

"You must be one of the radical Jacobin deputies in the National Convention during the French Revolution, noted for their democratic outlook".

He just looked at me.

"Can I get a drink"?

I stared into my half gone Tanqueray martini with olives in a stemless martini glass and hoped that Mr. Montagnard would leave me alone.

But he wouldn't.

And he didn't.

So I drained the other half of the martini and ordered another.

"Speaking of democratic outlook, I sure am glad that my senator in Washington is Joe Manchin".

Feeling like a trout rising to a well presented dry fly on the stream, I nonetheless replied.

"Why is that"?

"Because he has saved us Montagnards from inflation and budget deficits; I just saw on Fox that inflation is 6%; Ol' Joe says that if we pass Build Back Better, inflation will be out of control; and he says that Build Back Better will put the deficit out of control; he says that we can't afford two trillion dollars for poor people".

I stared into my newly poured martini.

Here's where the dream gets odd; I would normally have drained my glass, ordered another and contemplated "fish and chips or French dip?".

But instead I said "do you have any kids"?


"Have you been getting the child tax credit advance monthly payment"?


"How many"?


"So you get some money for your kids; how much for each"?

"$250 for two and $300 for one".

"So $850 a month"?

"I guess".

"How much do you spend on food each month"?

"Maybe $350".

How much do you spend on gasoline each month"?

"For sure $400; I've got a Ram 500 and I drive 100 miles a day for my job, so gas is a lot".

"So $750 a month for food and gas"?


"What do you see as the inflation rate"?

"Really high - 6 or 7 percent".

"That's a bitch".

"You got it man".

"Let's say that inflation with Build Back Better goes to ten percent; that would mean that your $750 a month food and gas bill would go to $825, $75 more".

"Yeah, that puts me under; Ol' Joe Manchin is saving me".


"But Ol' Joe is taking away your $850 a month".


"The child tax rebate expires 15 January 2022 if Build Back Better isn't passed".

"So you end up $775 in the hole".

"And, by the way, Ol' Joe is lying about two trillion; it's only two hundred billion a year; Ol' Joe just voted for seven hundred and sixty eight billion for one year for corporate welfare for the military industrial complex; that's almost eight trillion over ten years; but who's counting"?

"And he's lying about Build Back Better not being paid for; it's paid for by an increase (in many cases making a person or entity actually pay taxes for the first time) in taxes on rich people and corporations".

At that point in my dream things wobbled off to my labyrinth dream and I don't remember much about that.

The Battle For Boeing's Soul

In May 2019 I made a post about my thoughts about Boeing.

Recently, December 12, 2021, the Seattle Times published a medium length article that seems to say, with more depth, what I said in 2019.

I had reasons for what I said.

Apparently, they were correct.

And Alan Mulally went on to save Ford.

Here is my post.


 By the time I was born in early World War Two Boeing had become a great company.

That greatness was the result of a fortuitous confluence of factors.

A high level distillation of those factors can be described: great organized labor, great entrepreneurial management and great get-your-hands-on-the-products-and-processes executives, all three of whom were imbued with deep scientific curiosity, engineering ability and fanatic commitment to quality.

And those managers, engineers and other skilled workers and executives lived – together daily – on the shop floor.

And – I think this is probably true; it’s hard to imagine otherwise given the culture of those long ago times – they all ended up after hours in the same Renton, bars, grills and taverns; they probably kept talking – in the egalitarian environment that bars, grills and taverns can foster – shop: what was ahead of schedule; what was behind schedule; what was going well; what was screwed up; how to keep getting better and how to fix the problems.

That all produced airplanes like the 70 year old B52 which is still a central part of America’s air war capability.

Or the, until Max 8, flawless (yeah I haven’t forgotten the batteries, but that got fixed quickly and transparently and permanently) string of 7XX airliners.

Have you ever seen the 707 doing barrel rolls over Lake Washington?

So how could that company get to the Max 8?

Of course I don’t know.

But I think it has to do with the fact that a few years back a cadre of executives having no cultural or hereditary relationship to the Renton Culture decided that they needed to remove themselves from the sweaty stench of the managers and workers.

They moved off to Chicago and began thinking great thoughts in tall buildings.

In that environment, far from “the egalitarian environment that bars, grills and taverns can foster” it is easy to imagine how executives could have spun – to each other – a plane whose design point: quick production, cheap cost and no pilot training, but which was really a lumbering disaster needing sensors and software to keep it from crashing, as a no sweat slam dunk.

And then they spun it, slam dunked it and lied, misrepresented and obfuscated its problems, not the least of which is that the spinners are all off in Chicago.

And two planeloads of human beings have died because of the ivory tower spinners.

I think the Chicago tribe should all be fired and replaced post haste, with promoted-from-within managers and workers from Renton.

And their prime directive should be "get back to the bars after work and hammer out – once more and again – what it means to be a great company: what it means to be Boeing, a Seattle company".


And here is a link to the Times article: 

Battle For Boeing's Soul

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

A Curious Confluence

 Some time in the near, but vague future a rather large number of Americans are going to be evicted because, mainly, they don't have money for rent; some of them are going to be evicted because their landlords want to get rid of them; but that is a mere subset of the overall hoard.

Some time in the near, but vague future a rather large number of Americans are going to discover that their homestead secured lines of credit have alarmingly increased in monthly payment requirement; the variable interest feature is going to have kicked in; for many of those who have been hanging on by the edge of their fingernails an alarming increase in their payments to the man are going to put them out of the range of the next paycheck.

Some time in the near, but vague future a rather large group of human beings in America, currently housed thanks to the teasingly low rates of a sea of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are going to be unable to pay their house payment because the "R" in "ARM" has gotten dangerously high; those mortgage holders probably won't be able to continue paying their mortgages.

The three things listed above will create a large number of new homeless people in America, adding to the already large number of such.

Some time in the near, but vague future Timothy McVeigh's successor will strike somewhere.

Sometime in the near, but vague future the various armed militias will set out to free us all.

Somewhere in the near, but vague future {fill in the blank}. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Desmond Tutu

 I always felt better;

I always felt happier;

Than I had been before I had had the thought:

"Desmond Tutu lives".

Now that he doesn't


I am much the worse

In all ways

Due to that fact;

But he did


And all of us,


Are better for his having been here.

There aren't many

Of whom

 One can say that.


Godspeed, I guess;

But I wish you were still here, Father Tutu.