Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Women Facing Peril

She took a "shortcut" on the way to her parents' house, and got lost:

"Woman gives birth, fights off bees, starts wildfire in Northern California"

Even if you felt your day was tough,
I hope it wasn't really quite this rough.

The story reminds me a bit of this novel I'm reading, Madeleine and the Mists, by Mary Catelli, which has been doing a fine job of holding my interest. The situation has been building, and our heroine, who is expecting, is about to lead some armed men into a misty forested area where it's magically easy to get lost. I'm hoping everything works out okay for her!

The terrain is getting misty,
and the plot is turning twisty.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Roberts Has Everyone Talking

A Mormon / Muslim / Heinlein Fan coalition?
Strange bedfellows, no doubt.
But if polygamy legalization is the mission,
I wouldn't count them out.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Power Of Two

There are 10 types of folks
and just in case you missed 'em
it's those who do and don't
get the binary number system.

Being Cool

The current pope's latest encyclical condemns excessive air conditioning, blaming markets for stimulating artificial demand.

Here's the paragraph where it comes up:

"Some countries are gradually making significant progress, developing more effective controls and working to combat corruption. People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption which, rather than decreasing, appear to be growing all the more. A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behaviour, which at times appears self-destructive."

It's hedged, as in that final phrase "which at times appears self-destructive".

I'm not sure who that hypothetical outsider is, in the last sentence. I'm reading Paradise Lost right now, so it occurred to me that the outsider might be an angel.

Christianity, and other religions, have long taken a suspicious view toward comfort. And today's secular philosophy is always telling us to "get out of our comfort zones". But discomfort itself is not a virtue, nor a certain sign of good behavior.

And excessive heat kills:

"In the past few weeks, more than 3,000 people have died as a result of severe heat waves in Pakistan and on the Indian subcontinent. Virtually all the victims lacked access to reliable electricity and, obviously, air conditioning."

Fortunately for Americans, it doesn't kill us nearly so often as it used to. As Cory Franklin writes in today's Tribune:

"Studies have indicated that mortality during American heat waves has dropped by 80 percent since 1960, with virtually every study concluding the decline in deaths is explained by the adoption of air conditioning."

Sometimes your comfort zone
Is just where you need to be.
If it gets too hot in my home,
I'm cranking up the A/C.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Venue: The Clemente Center

I can now announce the venue for my play, O'Brien & O'Brian, at the FringeNYC festival.

It's The Clemente Center, on the lower east side. I've seen video of the inside, and it looks like a lovely theater, recently remodeled, 110 seats or so.

The festival runs from August 14 to August 30. We will have 5 performances. The exact dates and times are still under lock and key.

If not for that lock and key,
If it were just up to me,
I'd give you the dates and times,
Probably cast into rhymes.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


I maybe should say something silly,
Regarding the lovely Day Lily.
But just at the minute,
My heart isn't in it.
I will say they look kind of frilly.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Great Catch

Pic at the link:

"Cubs fan nabs foul while bottle-feeding his infant son"

I read the story and smiled.
He dropped neither ball nor child.

And based on this, I ask:
Who says men can't multitask?

Lone Star State

I drove without a Lexus
Through the sunny hills of Texas,
And avoided getting lost in 
The perplexing streets of Austin. 

I could have used a boost in
The traffic slog of Houston,
Where I inched along my way
In my rented Chevrolet. 

But there is no earthly power
That can overcome rush hour,
Unless it is to fly
In a copter cross the sky. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Self Reflection

Somewhere in that vase
You can just make out my face. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

In Transit

2 weekends ago, Kansas City. 

Last weekend, New York City, hanging out around Houston Street. 

This weekend, Nashua, NH AND Houston, TX. 

With all this traveling,
My brain is unraveling. 

Friday, June 19, 2015


Just the sort of story that draws my eye:

"Toyota Motor Corp moved into damage control mode on Friday after its new communications chief Julie Hamp, an American and its first senior woman executive, was arrested on suspicion of illegally bringing pain killers into Japan just two months after her appointment."

The allegation is that she had someone mail pills to her that were at the bottom of a box full of necklaces.

The thing about pain pills is that they are legal with a prescription, in both the U.S. and Japan. The drug warriors have been "cracking down" on pain pill use, making it harder to get them.

But this is a woman with some means and prominence, which leads me to wonder why she would take the chance of having someone mail them to her in a sneaky way. Why didn't she just get a prescription for them in Japan? I assume the trick is to "ask around" to find a respectable doc with liberal prescribing policies.

The whole operation seems reckless.
Pills don't look much like a necklace.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Demand: Classics Must Be Banned

Who cares about Othello?
A most unhappy fellow
And as for old Macbeth,
Let's disregard his death.
Shakespeare had his day. 
Now get him out of the way.
Make room for books by ME!
That's all that you should see.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Textbook Case

I really like this NY Times headline:

"Bird Flu Sends Egg Prices Up, but Slowing Demand Prevents Shortages"

Supply and Demand - behold with awe.
Not just a good idea, it's the law!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Had a piece of birthday pie
With an 88-year old guy.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mirrored Preview, Unmirrored Result

Yesterday I was in New York for the day, and after my business was done I took the IRT up to Morningside Heights and walked around a bit, on a sort of nostalgia tour, recalling my 2 years attending Columbia University. It may be that "attending" is not quite the right word for the way I handled my studies, but, be that as it may, I was there for 2 intense years.

I took a selfie outside Tom's Restaurant, intending to share it with my son. He's a fan of the old Seinfeld show, and some footage of the restaurant's exterior was frequently used on the show.

I noticed something I had never noticed before: the iPhone selfies preview as mirror-image, but finalize as non-mirror-image. I noticed because my selfie had a word in it. So the preview, when I was snapping the selfie, looked like this:

I was quite surprised, even disoriented by this.

Afterwords, in the photo folder, it looked like this:

I know that someone at Apple thought this through,
but I didn't have a clue.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

For FringeNYC

I'm flying in and out of New York in one day - 
Assuming that our current "ground delay"
Does not in fact extend
To "grounded without end."


As of today,
my son in law has his MBA!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Fighting Over Frozen Embryos

There's an interesting local legal case involving frozen embryos which were conceived by a girlfriend and boyfriend who have since broken up. In the mean time, she has gone through some heavy duty cancer treatments and it sounds like she can't conceive anymore.

So she wants to give birth to some of these babies, and her ex doesn't want her to. Complicating things are an oral agreement where he said she could have these embryos, and a later written agreement where he said she could only bring them to fruition with his permission.

Appellate judges decided recently that the woman had a right to the embryos.

I began wondering what it's like to know that you started out in life like that - to know that you were sitting in a deep-freeze with people arguing about whether you should get a shot at human existence.

Also... would cold weather bother you less?
I don't suppose the answer is yes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Hope The Penalty Isn't Death

Mind your manners in Malaysia:

"British traveller Eleanor Hawkins appears in court for 'stripping naked and causing quake on Mount Kinabalu'"

It's the cause-and-effect that strikes me as defective.

Do you think that humans stripping
to their naked bods
can cause tectonic slipping?

I'd say it's against the odds.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Not Funny

Those who pontificate
often come to hate
the pointed tool
called ridicule.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Heading Home

We're driving in the dark in Illinois. 
To the left and right there's corn and soy. 
At least, so I assume. 
I can't tell in this gloom!

Sunday, June 07, 2015


Here's a Pueblo clown,
getting down.

It's at the Kansas City Art Institute, which has another pic, and a description, here.

Stopping for a Look

Kansas view, where the distance turns blue. 

Friday, June 05, 2015


Man painting fence outside Mark Twain's boyhood home. Is it ironic or merely iconic? He's doing it for his employer, a museum about the author of Tom Sawyer.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

A Sonnet

Some sonnets do not use the letter which
Begins the common list of English letters.
Such sonnets seem uncommon. Here's the hitch:
This letter's used so much! The old typesetters
Counted it third in frequency of use -
No big surprise, since - by itself - it forms
The commonest of words when on the loose.
You just might find the letter's sound's occurred,
Without its being there. It seems cliche,
But English spelling's nuts! Some well-formed word
Will often rudely, crudely disobey
The Rules of Phonics, to somehow convey
The sound we should expect to find with A.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Shrink Shrunk

Greg Pratt has the story in the Chicago Tribune:

"Psychotherapist has previous arrest for practicing without a license: police"

His previous trouble was in Florida. Now he's in trouble here.

Misrepresenting a credential,
can be awfully consequential.

Allegedly he represented himself as being a licensed psychologist, and as having diplomas in psychology. Apparently, neither is true.

In Illinois, you can perform the talking cure without a license, but you can't claim to have a license when you don't, and you can't call yourself a psychologist. I think you can call yourself a therapist, or a shaman, or a bishop, or a counselor.

Some of his clients are upset.

'Baran revealed "very personal 'things'" to Redman, believing him to be "a doctor of psychology," but became alarmed when a friend told her Redman is a "scam artist," police said.'

I fear this guy may be a serial scamster,
so I'm talking instead to a most helpful hamster,
who quietly listens to all of my goofiness,
and nods his approval with perfect aloofiness.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Monday, June 01, 2015

On Pause

My email server is bored.
Its metadata is being ignored.
Oh when will the Patriot Act be restored?