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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Enigma Close To Home

No picture on this one. You can see it on the news. It's nearly 1 a.m. here and I've been following an interruption. My dear friend, Will, was talking with me on the phone from Sonoma Tuesday and stopped mid sentence. He reported that his radio had just issued a public service notice that electricity would be off for his town --and the entire coast of our state for 5 to 6 days.

We rang off and I checked the PG&E trouble map on line. They were canceling service up and down the state --mainly coastal except for San Jose and some other Silicon Valley tax fountains-- all the way inland to Juaquin Murrietta (who might have admired their cold-bloodedness), Rancho Cordova and various spots of the Sierra range. Why?  Because PG&E decided we will have high winds and their electric lines are not up to handling them.

Wednesday morning, we woke to a mild breeze. Now the day is over; it is 1:05 a.m. and I shall doubtless wake to a mild autumn day tomorrow. PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) has extended its forecast to 7 days. 

Millions of people are involved. Many, like me, depend on private, electrically operated, wells for water. All depend on refrigerators and freezers for safe food. And I can't, without unmanly tears, think about those who rely on Albuterol nebulizers and O2 generators to get through the day.

Please advise.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Rat Patrol, Continued

I call him Independent Squared, after his exponentially-great grandfather. He is training for The Rat Patrol. This is not the same patrol that pestered Rommel. Squared's operations will be confined to this property and surrounding fields.

Now don't get me wrong: I enjoy a major rat infestation as much as the next guy but lately it's needed adjustment. We must trust that reality leads outside our moving moment and can improve the future if we help. An example would be the next election.

Will Americans reelect a reality(?) tv personality who's solution to alopecia is a rear-whole-body, crotch-to-top, pubic comb-over? But on to important things. Squared is not alone:
He has two siblings. Both have dedicated their future careers to the abolition of rodents. They are about to enter cat adolescence. 

I remember my own entry into adolescence quite well. It's discouraging to look into the mirror each morning and watch oneself turn into a monster. A similar climacteric comes with age, but I won't go into that --because I'd have to go lie down for a while.

What I'd rather do is concentrate on a new invention that has nothing to do with rats. I'd like the Home Movie Viewing experience to better approximate Commercial Theater Movies --maybe an affordable machine that kicks the back of your chair. On second thought, I will go lie down.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Politics Of Rats

A few years ago I was talking with a huge rat. He had business in our state's capital.

While he was here, he conducted a friendly

"Hello little man! Please come here."


"I detect a bit of hesitancy. Are you nervous?"

"Not nervous, but wary. I'm accustomed to the size of river-rats but have come away from a strange exchange with a thing called M*rat, that accused me of "white genocide" because I insisted all humans are of the same species."

"You're quite correct, but I suspect there was something Freudian at work there. What was his first name?"

"Hmm. Randall."

"And when his mother called him home, what do you think she yelled?"

"I don't know --his name over and over?"

"Yes! 'Randy, Randy' etc.. Then some wag down the street would doubtless answer, 'Me too, but you don't hear me shouting it all over the neighborhood.'"

"Your point?"

"You're an educated man, an autodidact..."

"Yes, I taught myself to fix my own car."

"No, I'm talking Freud here and suggesting your accuser is feeling guilt --imagining matricide!"

"Why on earth would anyone want to kill a mattress?" 

Then he announced his survey was done. He hopped the next barge down-river . I believe he is mayor of Bolinas now.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Jeunism Revisited

In these hard times, when readership has abandoned whole thoughts and youth has migrated to cliquish texting, I find it comforting to travel back to an earlier post that predates ageistic revolution. It lessens the pain of social fragmentation. If you understand the preceding sentence, it rather dates us. I have traveled back a mere 6 years here --and included the excellent comments the post received then-- in hopes that modern readers will agree, disagree, at least acknowledge recognition of its theme. Comments are welcome under those retrieved from the past. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I found it necessary to modify an illustration (ok, beyond the little greeting) from the excellent archive, FTIC , because, although it effectively typified  the 19th (and 20th) century standard of bow-wow oratory, it lacked  relevance to history as I have imagined it.

The figure above is delivering an impassioned speech against Jeunism, elder-discrimination, and has just begun an attack upon the overprescription of stool-softeners by pointing at a softened stool.

"Ladies and gentleman, how can we condone a heinous compound which, when misapplied by ne'er-do-wells, causes our most experienced pianists to fall off their art and sends our most skilled saloonists sprawling onto saloon floors?"

The audience was all attention. Interest and indignation had been piqued. They heard more:

"I have the testimony of Macomber Bomby, the man behind Dan Patch, who drove that peerless pacer to break 14  world speed records, finally setting the world's record for the fastest mile by a harness horse in all history. Mr. Bomby confided to me, he said, 'Professor Fustian, I sits a sulky solider than sudden sodden sanity but when I goes for a snort spiked with stool softener --and mind you, it ain't half bad-- I falls right on the floor.'"

The audience indulged in a collective moan of horror.

Professor Fustian continued: "Dear friends of culture and American progress, I shall conclude this chautauqua on a hopeful note.  We have perceived something which warns us we are in the presence of tragedy, that our youth have taken to pharmaceutical offense against us. Like Macomber Bomby, we encounter novelty in the form of stool softener and find ourselves brought back upon our own traces. Who is responsible? If we consult imagination and act upon its suppositions, I believe we'll find ourselves justified in blaming the young.

"In the face of misguided enterprise,  errors of youth we cannot ourselves remember making, we must maintain strong character with an immense capacity for self-restraint. When prescribed stool-softener by younger and younger physicians, we must persevere and pretend to agree. Yes, there will backlash and youthful outrage at our stoppage, but we will prevail. Indeed, we have had extraordinary luck isolating this problem and it will be entirely our own fault if we do not succeed in flushing it out."



  1. Hi Geo.,

    Suppositions? Flushing it out? Your posts are so clever and full of double and triple and quadruple meanings, I could probably read them ten times and not catch them all. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog.


    (still chuckling over this one)
  2. Kind Michelle-- Thank you. The day was so full of heat and hornets that I sat inside and wrote potty humor.
  3. I haven't yet become old enough to utilize stool softeners, but softening of the brain began afflicting me years ago. I blame it on the Texas dust and heat, although enthusiasts of Jeunism might think otherwise.

    I always come prepared with a dictionary and a reasonably clear mind before I immerse myself in your posts. I immediately had to look up "Jeunism" and became rather alarmed when I realized that it could apply to me.

    It's useless for me to write my own blog posts after reading yours. There's no possible way that I could use "chautauqua" in a sentence.
  4. Jon-- Thanks! Few have heard of chautauquas nowadays. My mother enjoyed them when they traveled to her town in Oklahoma in the 1920s. Didn't hear of them again until I read a book in the '70s called "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance".
  5. With the most wonderful and all knowing Wikipedia at my fingertips, I slowly pieced this brilliant post together in my slowly dismissing mind. It's all about movement, baby.

    I think this was one of your top ten, Geo.
  6. I know a few people who needs "Kaopectate" for their brain to keep too much shit from coming out.
  7. Hahaha, what a funny and intelligent post! In Germany we have the term 'Jugendwahn' - youth mania - and you can see it everywhere - but who are we to complain? We created it - and now we can't get rid of it, as Goethe's the 'Sorcerer's Apprentice'. I love especially your attentive and very involved audience. Professor Fustian seems a bow to Johann Wolfgang von G. too? If I had to translate Chautauqua - had to look it up - we could take Mr. Friedrich Fröbel - but no - that would be a faux pas: he wanted to educate the very young (Audience, grumbling: hear! hear!) forming them like potter's clay...
  8. I love Pirsig's book about his Chautauqua.

    Sadly jeunism is  alive and well.

  9. Arleen--You honor me! I got the pic of Dan Patch from Wikipedia, which is getting more Wiz-of-Oz-like all the time.

    Keith-- Sometimes I need something to keep thoughts together. You think roughage would help my brain too?

    Britta-- I love your insightful comments! Goethe did come to mind but Fustian --as his name implies-- is far more bombastic and less enlightened than the champion of Wiemar Classicism.

    Laoch-- Pirsig! I'd forgot his name but not his life-affirming inquiry into existence, love and understanding. Thanks!
  10. For sure, it sounds like a vile movement, and rumor has it the ring leader is a buxom young lass named Lucy Bowels...

    Another fun post, dude. We can get back at the young people, ya know. Just feed 'em sugar-free cookies. LOTS of sugar-free cookies. Hehe.
  11. Susan-- I hoot! Decidedly I hoot! Wasn't Lucy Bowels a character in "Threepenny Opera"? "Hey Lotte Lenya and Miss Lucy...(I forget)". Dude likes your sugar-free cookie plot!
  12. With "Fustian" I (flippantly) thought of Goethe's protagonist "Faust": Habe nun, ach! Philosophie,
    Juristerei und Medizin,
    Und leider auch Theologie
    Durchaus studiert, mit heißem Bemühn.
    Da steh ich nun, ich armer Tor!
    Und bin so klug als wie zuvor;", Project Gutenberg translates it as:
    "I've studied now Philosophy
    And Jurisprudence, Medicine,--
    And even, alas! Theology,--
    From end to end, with labor keen;
    And here, poor fool! with all my lore"
    I stand, no wiser than before:
  13. Britta-- With exception of "Juristeri und Medizin" I could use your delightful quote as a personal axiom. Thanks!
  14. What a great post, Mr. G! SNL could use some of your classy wit. But I suppose the bulk of it would be lost on the younguns.
  15. W2W-- Thanks! I hope the younguns find enough hilarity in life without my assistance but I sure appreciate your compliment.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Treefrog Art

Our old back door is kept in service by improvised hinges; its integrity maintained by scraps of sheet metal --old aluminum signs we bought at the salvage yard long ago when we hadn't much money. We remember the fun we had with it and intend to keep it sturdy in wind and rain, torturous temperatures forever. Its sill is set in grooved siding lumpy with many paintings. Here's a detail:

I direct your attention to the greenish speck in the groove just right of the aluminum elephant at the top of the rose wand. 
"Hello, little friend!"

"Hello Geo."
"Ah, so you know me then?"
"Yes, from my great-great-grampa,  Darwin Doorbooger."
"And you are?"
"Darwin Doorbooger 3. "
"The third?"
"Not exactly, Geo., we are exponential. I am Darwin Cubed."
"Oh My! To what effect?"
"Well, for one I am learning to scare off predators by contorting 
   parts and spots into old California symbols of sternness.    
   Observe my Mighty Conquistador face!"
."You are an artist!"

"Indeed, all my grampas consider it my extrapolative ability! I am    working on the pointy helmet part but it always squeezes turds out me. Can you take measurements and offer advice?"

"Sure, Cube...
"...I worked for 7 years as a fine arts framer and restorer before going outdoors, and  attended many gallery shows. I was frequently consulted on all aspects of presentation but declined comment on performance art. I believe your chosen genre is in that category.  None of the performing artists I saw or even heard of could poop upside down on the wall --I doubt it was for want of trying, Cube. It wasn't taught in junior college and they couldn't do it, and I'm not certain their excreta would differ much from your digested housefly. In the parlance of the time, they just couldn't get in the right groove."

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Fantasist's Curriculum

For me, it began with a book, a book from my father's library. This book:

The Parnassus (221, 4th Ave. NY) edition is undated but I first unshelved it in 1957 and, as an old man but young bibliophile, can estimate its age as at least 100 years. The first English translation of Munchausen, translated from Rudolf Raspe's original German, was published in 1785. The American edition relies heavily on it.

The real Baron Munchausen, Hieronymous Friedrich, Freiherr von Munchhausen,  from Bodenwerder, Electorate of Brunswick-Luneburg, was a soldier for the Russian Empire during the Russo-Turkish war in the late 1730's. He was known for recounting adventures (and embellishing them) but balked at anyone exaggerating his exploits in print because he believed they could not be further exaggerated. Hence the following disclaimer:
This, of course, caused publishers to invite three reliable signatories to legitimize the contents --visible over my thumbnail.  Of course, we students of fantasy never exaggerate, never deviate from the facts as we imagine them, but what really impelled me toward this strict discipline was Karel Zeman's film, which I saw in the 1960s. None who watch the Baron's hat spin off into outer space can keep part of their minds from following in the closing clip.

I don't want to give the false impression that these teachable yarns composed my whole education. I also went to school and passed hard courses in civics, history, math, language and science --with the exception of Zoology --too many o's, and I never understood The Periodic Table of The Elephants.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

A U-Solve-It Enigma

I've never posted a U-Solve-it mystery before but find it presently unavoidable. It was perpetrated yesterday by wife, Norma, and photogenic accomplice, Darwin Doorbooger. It consists of 3 photos taken with her cell phone which --1st clue-- has no setting for selective focusing. And yet...
...there is Darwin in crystal clarity with soft-focus geraniums beyond.

I spent well over 30 years in high school (as student and gardener, what did you think? Oh how could you?) and am very well educated, yet I could only guess she'd coaxed Darwin indoors and onto a window, we have no geraniums blooming window height (second clue). 

Another photo:
These are not products of trick-photography --notice my fingers never leave my hands. Here is the closing photo and a final clue from the master of deductive reasoning, Sherlock Holmes:

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth"--Arthur Conan Doyle. 
Hope you have as much fun with this puzzle as I did. Theories, comments, questions and opinions welcome!