Wednesday, December 26



Winter Harvest


white drops, drear

tear my eyes, fear

wears me down,

dizzy, from all the sound


red drops, anger

close my eyes, danger

like a vague reminder

my blind past


blue for the holidays

cold for the holidays

pulled from arms too soon

returned to the soil alone


god forsaked them

in that land

another harvest gone bad

returned to the soil in bags



Monday, December 17


Overpowered
(Roisin Murphy)

Your date on my data
The chromosomes match
Exact as in matter
A matter of fact
These abberant feelings
A cognitive state
Need the love object
To reciprocate

When I think that I’m over you
I’m overpowered
It’s long overdue
I’m overpowered

When I think that I’m over you
I’m overpowered
It’s long overdue
I’m overpowered

A chemical reason
If reason’s your game
A chemical needing
Is there in the brain
With preprogrammed meanings
Like a little more pep
Alien feelings
We have to accept

When I think that I’m over you
I’m overpowered
It’s long overdue
I’m overpowered

When I think that I’m over you
I’m overpowered
It’s long overdue
I’m overpowered

As science struggles on to try to explain
Oxy-toxins flowing ever into my brain
As science struggles on to try to explain
Oxy-toxins flowing ever into my brain

I'm overpowered

Sunday, December 9


Nikola Tesla.

I've been fascinated with this guy since I was a kid. I'd love to read a biography of him or even better, or his work and ideas. He reminds me a little of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in that he was scientifically literate (though Tesla was a bona fide genius in this regard whereas Doyle was a dabbler), who had complete faith in reason, the scientific method, and sought material explanations for natural phenomena, but who later in life showed a predilection - some would say a weakness, some would say an open mind - for spiritualism, paranormalism, and an obsession with the technology of the future. Where Doyle was the great chronicler with his Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger stories, Tesla was the mover and shaker, inventor of the radio, alternating current (AC) electrical circuits which we still use in every household, and possessor of Doyle's visionary power but with one of the best scientific minds to base his fantasies upon. Wireless power grids and many other dreams of his are still within reach and possibilities for our future, nearly a century after he conjured them up, if only conservatism on the part of the government, reliance on oil, and desire for profit and control by the established utility companies were not actively suppressing some of his more practical concepts. As for his more radical concepts, perhaps not even our lifetimes will last long enough to gauge whether he was a genius or a madman.

Nikola Tesla

Arthur Conan Doyle

Saturday, December 8

"My hovercraft is full of eels"

....In languages all round the world. Don't be caught with your pants down, learn this vital phrase straightaway.

Afrikaans: My skeertuig is vol palings
Albanian: Hoverkrafti im është plot me ngjala
Arabic: حَوّامتي مُمْتِلئة بِأَنْقَلَيْسون
Armenian: Իմ սավառնաթիռում լիքը օձաձուկ է
Basque Nire: aerolabangailua aingiraz beteta dago
Belarusian: Мой паветраны човен поўны вуграмі
Bulgarian: Корабът ми на въздушна възглавница е пълен със змиорки
Catalan: El meu aerolliscador està ple d'anguiles
Cebuano: Puno ug kasili ang akong hoberkrap
Chinese(Cantonese): 我隻氣墊船裝滿晒鱔.
Chinese(Mandarin): 我的氣墊船裝滿了鱔魚 [我的气垫船装满了鳝鱼]
Croatian: Moja lebdjelica je puna jegulja
Czech: Moje vznášedlo je plné úhořů
Danish: Mit luftpudefartøj er fyldt med ål
Dutch: Mijn hovercraft zit vol palingen
Esperanto: Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj
Estonian: Mu hõljuk on angerjaid täis
Finnish: Ilmatyynyalukseni on täynnä ankeriaita
French: Mon aéroglisseur est plein d'anguilles
Gaelic(Irish): Tá m'árthach foluaineach lán d'eascainn
Gaelic(Scottish): Tha mo bhàta-foluaimein loma-làn easgannan
German: Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale
Hebrew: הרחפת שלי מלאה בצלופחים
Hindi: मेरी मँडराने वाली नाव सर्पमीनों से भरी ह
Hungarian: A légpárnás hajóm tele van angolnákkal
Icelandic: Svifnökkvinn minn er fullur af álum
Indonesian: Hovercraft saya penuh dengan belut
Interlingua: Mi hydroaeroplano es plen de anguillas
Italian: Il mio aeroscivolante è pieno di anguille
Japanese: 私のホバークラフト は鰻が一杯です。
Klingon: DujwIj naQ ghargh
Korean: 내 호버크라프트는 장어로 가득 차 있어요
Latin: Mea navis aëricumbens anguillis abundat
Latvian: Mans gliseris ir pilns ar zušiem
Lithuanian: Mano amfibija su oro pagalve pilna ungurių
Lojban: le mi varkiclaflo'i cu culno lo angila
Luxembourgish: Mäin Loftkësseboot ass voller Éilen
Macedonian: Моето летачко возило е полно со јагули
Malay: Hoverkraf saya penuh dengan belut
Malayalam: എന്റെ പറക്കും-പേടകം നിറയെ വ്ളാങ്കുകളാണു
Maltese: Il-hovercraft tiegħi hu mimli sallur
Marathi: माझी होडी मासळयांनी भरली आहे
Norwegian: Luftputefartøyet mitt er fullt av ål
Persian هواناو من پر مارماهى است
Polish: Mój poduszkowiec jest pełen węgorzy
Portuguese: Meu hovercraft está cheio de enguias
Quenya: Nîn hvurmkirwa e quanta lyg-lim
Romanian: Vehicolul meu pe pernă de aer e plin cu ţipari
Russian: Моё судно на воздушной подушке полно угрей
Serbian: Мој ховеркрафт је пун јегуља
Shona: Hovercraft yangu yakazara nemikunga
Slovak: Moje vznášadlo je plné úhorov
Slovenian: Moje vozilo na zračni blazini je polno jegulj
Spanish: Mi aerodeslizador está lleno de anguilas
Swedish: Min svävare är full med ål
Tagalog: Puno ng palos ang aking hoberkrap/hovercraft
Thai โฮเวอร์คราฟท์ของผมเต็มไปด้วยปลาไหล
Toki: Pona tomo tawa lon sewi supa telo mi li jo e kala linja lon insa ale
Tok: Pisin Bilong me hangamapim bot stap pulap maleo
Turkish: Hoverkraftimin ici yılan balıǧı dolu
Ukrainian: Мій повітряний човен є повен вугрів
Vietnamese: Tàu cánh ngầm của tôi đầy lươn
Volapük: Lutakujababot oba binon fulik senkafitas
Welsh: Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn o lyswennod

Original joke courtesy of Monty Python:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6D1YI-41ao

Sunday, December 2

Finally! I have the top-ranked ninja on Facebook in the Sonoma/Napa region (the one I belong to, encompassing nearly 1,000 ninjas owners all fighting for top honors)


This screenshot obviously shows just the top 20. I've since increased my lead and have over 850 experience points, so I don't think anyone will be catching me. I'm also now in the top 1,500 worldwide and hope to get within the top 1,000 (out of about 350,000) this week. Then who knows... One thing I do know:
If you come to Northern California at night, beware!

Saturday, December 1


QUIZ Results: Thesaurus Rex is the winner!


In a close finish, T-Rex beat out ByteDoc for the "A-Z QUIZ" championship!

That means he buys the next round for all of us!

Congrats Rex, too bad about getting nipped by 6 points Byte, and ladies, thanks for playing!

REX WINS THE GOLDEN TRUMPET AWARD!

FEEL FREE TO BE AS BIG A BLOWHARD AS YOU WANT FROM NOW ON!

Behind Blue Eyes
(Pete Townshend)

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes.

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies.

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be;

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free.

No one knows what it's like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you.

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through.

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be;

I have hours only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free.

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool.

And If I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And If I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat.

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes.
(click to enlarge)
(courtesy of Hubble)

Answers to the "A-Z" Quiz - FINALLY! (...But no grades quite yet.)

A) In 1789 by George Washington after attempts to ratify such a holiday in 1776 and 1777. Abraham Lincoln set the precedent of US Presidents making a Thanksgiving National Address, and FDR fixed the date once and for all as the fourth Thursday of November in 1939, and it was ratified by Congress in 1941. Note: Canada also celebrates their own Thanksgiving holiday on the second Monday in October.

B) The English Civil War is a singular term covering either two or three separate conflicts depending on your choice of definition. The first (1642-1646) and second (1648-1649) conflicts were fought by the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third conflict (1649-1651) was fought by supporters of King Charles II against supporters of the Rex... er, Rump... Parliament. The Civil War ended in Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651. Charles I was executed, Charles II sent into exile, and the English monarchy was replaced by the Commonwealth of England and then with a Protectorate, under the personal rule of Oliver Cromwell in 1653.

C) Tungsten.

D) An irrational number.

E) The RMS Titanic sank on 15 April 1912.

F) Italy.

G) The Boston Red Sox.

H) It's the wool of Alpacas, a close relative of the llama (but considerable smaller) that do not live wild but graze as herds in level spots along the Andes of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile year-round between the altitudes of 3500-5000 meters above sea level. The Inca and Moche people were known to have keep domesticated alpacas thousands of years ago. The animal belongs to the Camelid family of ungulates, and is thus related to the camels of Asia and Africa. It is the smallest extant Canelid except for the wild Vicuña, whose hair is also prized in the textile industry.

I) Single-Lens Reflex.

J) A prism is a transparent optical element, usually glass, which refracts light. White light contains waves of all type in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum (usually as well as others, like infrared, ultraviolet, and so on). The wavelength of light determines its color as perceived by our brains (via our eyes and optic nerves), thus the common expression that white light contains "every color." Because waves of light refract at different angles while passing through a transparent (but not completely transparent) substance such as an angled bit of glass, and in a consistent way related to their wavelength, the prism in essense "spreads out" the light waves according to their wavelength and we see the familiar rainbow of colors. From longest to shortest wavelengths these proceed from red to violet (you can break it up as finely as you care to; one common way is the red-orange-yellow-green-blue-indigo-violet, or Roy G. Biv). Red fades smoothly and invisibly into infrared which our eyes cannot detect but which we feel as heat; violet fades smoothly on the opposite end into ultraviolet, which again our eyes cannot detect but which will burn or tan our skin and cause cellular damage over time.

K) Flatbreads and other breads which do not rise are made around the world and were the earliest breads in existance. Leavened (lightened) bread, is what we commonly eat these days, and the airiness is provided by chemicals or, more commonly, bacteria, which ferment the carbohydrates in the flour, including any sugar, after the unbaked dough has been prepared. A byproduct of this fermentation is carbon dioxide. Chemical action of the carbon dioxide trapped within the dough as it heats creates small pockets of gas that get baked into the bread and give it its lighter, airier texture. Sourdough bread uses, in addition to yeast, lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid and gives it its distinctive smells and taste. San Francisco is especially famous for its sourdough breads. Other types of bread leaved by steam, buttermilk, aeration, or other methods exist around the world, though yeast-leaved bread accounts for probably over 98% of all leavened bread produced.

L) ByteDoc and Rex both provided good answers for this question, and I had my own complex explanation ready, but I must defer to the professional midwife amongst us, Magdalene, on this one. She answered: "This is an unanswerable question as it depends entirely on whether she is in first, second or third stage of labour and whether or not there are any complications such as malpositions or fetal distress." So those who gave any sort of credible answer I will give full credit, those who were wiseacres or did not answer get a big egg McNuffin'.

M) Wetlands and/or coastal areas.

N) From the time of its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was counted as the Solar System's ninth planet. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, however, many objects similar to Pluto were discovered in the outer solar system, notably the object Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. The question of whether to start counting all these icy bodies with erratic, highly-elliptical orbits far from the sun as true planets became more pressing, not in any critical scientific sense, but for consistency in nomenclature. There was much wrangling on both sides, but the issue was settle at the International Astronomical Union's meeting on 24 August 2006, where the term "planet" was defined formally for the first time, a definition which exluded pluto (and Eris). It is now consider a "dwarf planet," one of many such objects now known and which surely exist in much greater numbers waiting to be discovered. The largest and only spherical asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres, was also re-categorized as not an asteroid but a dwarf planet as well. This regresses the number of "true" or "major" planets in the eyes of professional astronomers back to 8, the number it had been from the discovery of Neptune on 23 September 1846 (increasing the count from 7), till Pluto's discovery on 18 February 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh at the famous Lowell Observatory near Flagstaff, Arizona. Even though Pluto was thus only considered a true planet for less than a century, many adults and especially children are still fond of this mysterious far-off world and mourn its demotion. Fortunately, NASA had already sent the New Horizons probe barrelling toward Pluto at the time of the IAU's decision, and thus we should get a good look at this dwarf planet on 14 July 2015. Some of the ashes of its discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, who passed away in 1997, were placed aboard the probe prior to its launch in 1996.

O) This question is entirely subjective and was me just slyly fishing for a good recipe. No credit will be given and it does not affect the scoring of the test, unless you were exceptionally crafty with your answer, which none of you was.

P) Briefly, because the god of pleasure and excess, variously referred to by pagan religions, then Greek and Roman traditions, as Pan, Bacchus, or Dionysus, was given this description, which is that of a mythical being called a satyr. Originally viewed in a positive or at worst neutral light, the pleasure-discouraging and austere Catholic church beginning in the middle age begin to emphasize a "devil" character more and more to swell its ranks, seeing that scaring people into believing was even more effective than using a merciful God to entice them, and the symbol they increasingly chose was of course this frivolous, party-crazed, half-drunk goat man. Thus yet another pagan mythic figure got drafted into the corrosive force that is Christianity, and the poor guy has become the literal "face of the Devil" to many around the world.

Q) Many dates exists for the "Fall of Rome" as an empire, but as far as the city of Rome itself, though it had been sacked and reclaimed before, the traditional date given is 4 September 476 when the last Caesar, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by Odoacer, king of the Ostrogoths (who, however, then considered themselves Romans and tried to carry on many of the city's traditions). This is the answer I was looking for, though other dates and explanations that are close or have some explanation behind them will be awarded partial or full credit depending on merit.

R) Zebras are black or very dark brown with white stripes. This has been confirmed genetically and is the correct answer for a variety of reasons which I could explain if anyone cares to challenge the answer. For one, the black pigment extends to a deeper dermal layer than does the overlying white stripes. Secondly, evolutionary evidence points to the fact that zebras were once black or dark brown, like horses, and only devloped the white stripes (which helps to hide them in tall grass) later on.

S) No deity is recognized or worshipped in Taoism. If anyone answered "all that is" or "nature/the universe" I will give a point or two, but even then, if the ALL, the Tao, is considered a deity, which it is not, it is all inclusive and there would be now followers and thus no one to worship it. Worship is not involved in this philosophy, only a rocognition and acceptance that Nature (in its all-inclusive sense) simply IS and does what it does, and denies all magical forces or resistance to this idea. In a way it is the ultimate deterministic philosophy, but many would argue that even this dualistic notion of determinism vs. free will are a Western creation and that there is no room for such notions in Taoism or Buddhism, with which the Tao shares many of of its precepts. Learn your religions and philosophies, people.

T) Because of the Gulf Stream or Conveyor, which indeed conveys surface level warm water from the Caribbean to Northern Europe, where its salinity level causes it to fall to a deeper level than the less-dense colder waters below, and it is then transported on a sort of anti-Gulf Stream back to the Caribbean, bringing krill and other cold-water nutrients to that region for its marine life to feed upon. The relative warmth of the surface water passing around Ireland and the British Isles has a warming influence upon their interior climates, moderating what would otherwise be a Siberian or Canadian pattern. Thank goodness for you Brits! Now get out to St. Lucia or Grand Cayman and support their tourism industry.

U) Again, subjective. Just curious what your answers would be! I am most thankful for the people who have supported me even through my toughest times, and that includes you all. Thanks! Even when I seem cynical or petulant, I DO recognize the good influences that you and others have had upon me and realize that not all is black and cold all the time. In fact, 10 Dumbledore Points for all of you!

V) True. Coca-Cola used to be sold at the pharmacist/chemist in small vials as a remedy for pain, especially headaches, and contained a small amount of cocaine. This was before cocaine became illegal, of course. Many people surely found cures to their aches, but probably developed a worse addiction to the cure. In fact, I'm not so sure the cocained ever left. I still find myself almost impossible to stop drinking the stuff.

W) Other member of the echidnae family, such as porcupines. Mags was bang onto this one even down to the family name.

X) The 19th century. Many physicists contributed research which leds to discovery of X-rays, amongst them Nicola Tesla and Heinrich Hertz. But it was the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen who dubbed them X-rays, developed several practical uses for them (some of which we still obviously employ in medicine), and most fully devloped the theory behind them for the time. They were dubbed by many of his contemporaries (and are still referred to as in many parts of the world) "Röntgen rays," despite his great objections. He was awarded the very first Nobel Prize in Physics for his achievement. Most of his major work on this type of radiation was carried out in 1895 and 1896, so though the discovery of X-rays is a 19th century phenomenon, almost all theoretical and practical development of the subject came in the 20th century.

Y) Eucalyptus leaves. Boring!

Z). Again, subjective. Although, it is a question, so if you left it blank, you will receive no credit. But I believe you all answered it.

OK. Whew. *Wipes brow*
Now comes time to grade the papers (reply to your emails with scores on them) and declare a winner. This may take a little more time, but should be done in less that 24 hours for sure. In the meantime, you can compare your own answers to the key and maybe learn a couple of interesting facts along the way.

Thanks for your patience. I've not been feeling well and have struggled to get this done in a timely manner. I also have a new girlfriend which doesn't exactly give me gobs of time to myself. I will probably make future quizzes less ambitious, something like 10 questions a pop.

I'll correct typos and missing/redundant words and so on in THIS post as I go. I just finished it all in one go and don't feel like proofreading it right now, but I will in a bit. Now I just want to rest my eyes but I did want to get something out there for yous all to read!

Friday, November 30

Music videos, Media mogul assholes, and the Right of a private artist to express himself in untested ways.

Should I ever find myself in a band or playing the part of a discovered solo artist that was given the opportunity to make MTV-style videos, I wouldn't. I don't care how much money they threw at me. Unless it was a lot.

I might make short films, if I found I had the talent for it, or collaborate with equally idealistic and monetarily bereft directors who did have that talent, and whose tastes meshed with mine. In essence the 'film' accompanying my music, be it a single track, an ambient or merged concerto-like smudged out thing, or a series of discrete creations, would have to be a work of art on its own. It would not change what it needed to be to fit the mores of the music industry, and would thus almost certainly never be played on any sane television station. Artists have of course done this - Pink Floyd and Sigur Ros to name but two - but it's still a rare thing. I think Thom Yorke, Nick Cave, Tom Waits - people like these, they tend to reach for that sort of additional expression. Some have made full-fledged films or at least scores or screenplays.

A good sense to have as an artist is having the good sense to know when you're no good at something. So far I'm good at everything. Well, except for most things in life that actually keep you alive and serve your primal functions. Logistical things. And artistic things I'm nearly never the 'best' at, I merely see a path where I could work at it and be considered amongst that crowd. It's all so rubbish anyway, it's like pillowtalking after the alarm has erupted and deciding who had the more valid dream. Art isn't a sport where they hold up cards that range strangely from 9 to 10 in increment of 0.1.

I guess my point is that many musicians I am inspired by don't have crowd-pleasing videos. Maybe just some old studio footage later exploited as lost or rare and benefiting someone unworthy, like a person. I would never make a visual work of art tied explicitly to a musical one, nor the other way round, unless for some strange reason it made sense to me and could be done with the same passion, attention, and skill given to both objects and I felt compelled to marry the two. The disciplines don't necessarily seem related to one another in any pressing way, at least not in my view. It's a bonus I suppose when one can support the other, but for anyone to expect this pair to grow together on the same tree...

Thursday, November 29

QUIZ RESULTS COMING SOON

I PROMISE

SEE YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS

EVERYBODY WINS!

OK, NOT EVERYONE.

Wednesday, November 28

Dumbledore Points.

Remember how Slytherin got screwed in the first book at the House Cup ceremony, being told they were winning by 160 points or something close to that, only to have Dumbledore basically cheat for the Gryffindor good guys and give Ron 50 points for being good at Wizard Chess, Hermione 50 points for being sassy or something, Harry 60 of course for beating down Quirrel into his separate elements and then scaring the ghost of You-Know-Who out of the building, even though Snape (Slytherin) did nearly ALL the dirty work ahead of time? That made the two houses tied. Then Neville got 10 points for trying to stop his friends from breaking the rules and holier-than-thou Gryffindor carried off the cup by the slimmest of margins, in the most devious way possible, and humiliatingly in front of a color-changing banner right in front of Slytherin house and the rest of Hogwarts? Ok, so Malfoy's a jerk, we get it, but what about other kids that got sorted into Slytherin that had nothing to do with the main plot but got royally hosed at the end by the hero kid with the scar and his Christianlike posse? That wasn't a very noble thing for DD or JKR to have done now, was it?

In honor of that moment and others like it throughout the books, I'm introducing the concept of "Dumbledore Points" to my quizzes. This means as ultimate arbiter of truth, justice, and the American way, I am able to reward or take away special points to anyone I choose at any time just for making a great try on a plausible-but-wrong answer, or conversely snatching points away for not answering questions at all or mocking them deliberately, or even for being right but insulting me in some way in the process, like adding little quips such as "everyone knows that." On the whole I still try to be extremely fair, but I'm only human and thus susceptible to the polished apple on the teacher's desk trick: If you complain, don't even make a try, or have some genetic illness beyond your control like actual retardation I will probably dock you a few points or maybe even a lot. On the other hand, if you make a really cogent but wrong argument, answer the question halfway correctly with enthusiasm and humility, offer me money, or literally leave a polished Fuji on my computer desk, Dumbledore Points will rain on you like mana from heaven.

Simple things like actually following the rules (sending your answers to my email), reading the questions BEFORE answering what you assume I'm asking, having some humor or wit, or at least submitting an intelligible, organized-looking form will get you DP's or at least not cost you any. Extremely late entries, questioning me in any way, arguing about the right answer if it turns out you're wrong and don't actually have a good point, or just being sloppy and careless in general will find you slobbering and muttering 1st-year curses like so many Crabbes and Goyles, as you see your narrow lead in points slip away completely unfairly and that kid with the scar staring at you smugly for the umpteenth year in a row. Got it?

Just a warning. This is, after all, real life, and even though it's all in good fun, I want to be horribly mean and unfair about the whole process for some reason. Thus, Dumbledore Points.

Tuesday, November 27

DCD

I don't know how many if any of you besides Del realize how brilliant Brendan Perry (formerly of the group Dead Can Dance) is, but if you could sit down and read 5, 10, or 25 of his song lyrics (any of them at random) AND you had a soul, you very quickly would.

I only wish I could write like him AND do everything else he does - sing perfectly, produce everything in an abandoned abbey in Ireland by himself, play just about every instrument there is, teach samba and polyrhythmic Afro-Caribbean percussion to ordinary people who want to take his seminars, provide rare gems of songs for indie movies that will never earn him a schilling, program keyboards as well as play them masterfully and sequence the whole lot on computers like a trained sound engineer, even play antique instruments whose voices have not been heard in centuries (hence the band's name). Actually I wish I could do ONE of those things as well as he is able to. Maybe I'm closest in lyrics, but I've got miles to go in so many other forms of expression it's very daunting.

So this holiday season I'm featuring the ethereally majestic work of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, from the 25+ year collaborative band Dead Can Dance, which is beyond conventional genre-oriented categorization, to their solo works of the past decade or so, and presenting some of the most beautiful, heartfelt, perfect words put to paper, recorded to tape, or made into avant-garde movie "shorts" or providing the backing sound for such breakthrough and breathtaking movies like Baraka, Koyaaniqatsi, and many more, as well as more conventional ones like Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and Whale Rider. There is simply no one like them in the world, but since this blog is more focused on words than sound, you will get more Brendan than Lisa I'm afraid. He's the words guy for the most part.

All that and he's an absolute Guinness fiend from what I hear. You're missing a large portion of the boat if you ignore outside-the-mainstream artists like DCD, Nick Cave, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, and so forth. I can't MAKE you listen or read any of them, but if you are intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually a seeker, you will find enough there (and HERE) to at least set you on your way.

I wish they were my poems. It would be tempting to leave his name off and bathe in the adulation that came my way. But of course that would be wrong and missing the whole point, and Del would call bullshit faster than a Texas mosquito anyway.

So there, my upcoming tribute to Dead Can Dance, in my mind a group with a body of work possibly tied for the most beautiful thing I've run across in life, and right up in there in the conversation for best band ever (to me) with Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Smiths, Nick Drake, Bowie, Bob Marley, Nick Cave, and The Clash, and maybe a few others I'm not remembering.

Thanks for reading! Get ready for some great found art and symbology, some of my own stuff (visual and literal) inspired by them, lyrics, pictures, video clips, and more, all while of course keeping the quizzes, funnies, and non-related entries rolling right along at the same time, and my Facebook ninja ranked #1 in all of Sonoma and Napa county. Don't be afraid to comment on lyrics. They're only poems whose tiny bodies of clay have been breathed to life by the voice and music of a band, after all. That is something even greater than poetry.

If I can possibly provide MP3s of any of this work, (hint, especially if you email and ask), I will.



In The Wake of Adversity.
(Brendan Perry)

Hey Patrice, don't cry. They've no reason to harm you at all;
They don't realise that the angels surround you with light.
They don't understand. Their narrow ways defeat them where they stand;
They don't realise, you hide your sadness beneath a painted smile.

Ignorance, that light of fools steers a wayward path
And sets the course upon which we sail into the night of uncertainty,
Following the stars that make their way across the sky.
Valuing the love that lends grace to our hearts, we sail.


Sunday, November 25


Voyage of Bran.

Father, father
Can you tell me
Where the hours go
Where time flows

It is written in the stars
Upon the milky way
That we must burn bright
Before we fade away?

Mother, mother
Can you tell me
Where the fire goes
When the flames cease

From the ashes
To the astral plain
Where the setting sun
Meets the sea, Brendan.

I live by the river
Where the old gods still dream
Of inner communion
With the open sea

Through the eye of the hunter
In search of a prey
Neither beast nor human
In my philosophy.

If you don't recognise me
Well it's simply because
I've outgrown these old clothes
Time to move on

For you and I will outlive
The masks life gave us
When this shadowplay comes
To a close.

(Brendan Perry)

Thursday, November 22

Questions.
Please send answers to
justin.sias@gmail.com

A) When was Thanksgiving formalized as a holiday in the United States? (I don't even know the answer to this yet.)

B) When was the English Civil War fought, as accurately as you care to get?


C) What metal are the filaments in traditional incandescent (home lamp type) lightbulbs made from?

D) What do you call a number of the form y.xxx.... where 'x' never ends nor falls into any kind of repeating pattern (pi is an example of this kind of number)?

E) Without looking it up, what year did the Titanic sink?

F) Who won the most recent World Cup in football/soccer?

G) Who won the most recent World Series?

H) Alpaca wool is a type of fabric that comes from an animal, a lab, or what? If an animal, which and where does it live?

I) What does the 'SLR' in an SLR-camera (as opposed to a nonprofessional point-and-shoot camera) stand for?

J) Why does a prism produce a rainbow of colours? Be as precise as you'd like.

K) What makes bread rise? Anyone know why?

L) When assisting a woman giving birth, should she concentrate more on her breathing, trying to meditate and block the pain, push harder, relax, or what?

M) Where can egrets, cranes, storks, albatross, and herons all be found (what ecological habitat)?

N) Why was Pluto demoted as a major planet? Be as specific as you'd like.

O) What is your favourite recipe for pumpkin pie? Or can't you stand the stuff?

P) Why did Christians give the Devil of folklore cloven hooves, a goat's head, and horns?

Q) When (as close as possible) did the city of Rome finally fall and never again serve as the capitol of a large empire?

R) Are zebras white with black stripes or black with white stripes? Or does the question have no meaning?

S) Which deity is worshipped in Taoism?

T) Why are English waters and weather so much more temperate than in other regions at the same latitude, such as Moscow and Vancouver, BC?

U) What do you give thanks for most in your life?

V) Is it true or an urban legend that Coca-Cola originally included cocaine in its ingredients?

W) What other animals are hedgehogs related to?

X) In which century where x-rays discovered?

Y) What is the only thing a koala bear will eat?

Z) What is your favourite part about visiting this blog?


HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND A LOVELY DAY TO ALL!!!

Wednesday, November 21

(credit unknown)

world of no pity

eyes of green, see, seas of ice
couldn't turn my frail boat
from seeking morning

and in your fathomless gaze
that princess ghost
still mooring

I wish the sun would stay in the sky forever...
I wish that love was strong
and stayed strong
grew strong and
ever stronger

for now that we have passed
what some might say is the last chance we'll get

I just want to hold you
I just want to hold you
to feel your heart near mine, to close our eyes together

and forget to feel the night come
my love, and be with you still tomorrow.


fly in my soup

In a lattice of light
we hang our heads
going out of our heads
trying to find ourselves in circles
truth or something we could hold
not to scorch us then leave us cold

Ah fate
you always hated what I was
there's nothing to stop you now
when the sweat pours down my body
in the middle of the night
but Love,
we could escape it all
if only we knew where to start
this world is much too simple for us

In a lattice of light
was my garden of delight
under skies so blue I saw my window
and skies so black I saw my ego
just something I could hold
not to make my cry or leave me old

Ah fate
you always hated what I was
there's no one to halt your progress now
the sweat's still pouring down my body
day and night
but Love,
we could rejoin the laughter
if only we knew when it would end
this world makes too much sense for us.

the irresistable force against a merely stubborn object

naked as i was born,
unadorned
pierced through by shafts of light
it's called grieving
i appear before you now
to receieve
and fake is one thing i'll never be
you know me by now
by the time my words make sense
i'll be lying on my teeth
pierced through by blades of grass
somewhere happy
unseen, undreaming.
"Tree Strokes" (2007)

STARS

Thursday, November 15

Question.

How old is the earth, according to the latest research accepted by most geologists? It's ever so slightly different than what I learned most of my life, due to new breakthroughs in dating techniques. Needless to say, no cheating please. I'm ideally looking for an answer to two decimal places, expressed in billions of years (X.XX byo). American/international-scientific use of the term "billion" of course, not the uniquely British notion that a billion is a million million (an idea which is fading even in Britain). A billion is rightly a thousand million: 1,000,000,000.

The closest answer gets a small solid bar of 24k gold in virtuum!

The true age of the earth may always be debatable, because it formed from rubble that didn't make it into the sun and subsequent major bombardments, so when exactly is a planet considered to be "born"? Also, there is some inaccuracy still in dating methods, but the latest figures are taken from many different scientific disciplines and all converge quite nicely on the number I'm looking for. But don't be afraid to guess! Don't assume anyone will get it exactly right!

And anyone who says 6,000 years old will be immediately banned from this site =)

Wednesday, November 14

My secret path.

I can only say your name so often
Before the word becomes dissociated
And my elation turns to something fantastical
Rather than grounded in reality
But this reality is ugly
And you are fantastic;

I can only hope for better times in the years
And the decades ahead, to lead people everywhere
Out of their neuroses, their crises, their fear
And heed the trumpet of Jericho now for it blows
Not a fair wind at all, my dear lady,
No sound you should ever hear;

I can only give you my coat and comfort you
The best I know how, which is to care and to strive
When the wind-blown stars bow their heads in shame
For they could only turn the world, and stare
Not be there for us in comfort when our lives
Went down in flames;

I can only lead you to a secretive path
That I found once in my youth and have lost on and off
As the parade of black-armoured years solidered by
I can only ask you to come with me
I cannot tell you why.
Questions about aurum.

A) How many protons does the typical atom of gold have in its nucleus (thus, what is its atomic number)? B) Why do you think it has been used so often to make jewelry, coins, and other precious items by unrelated cultures from around the world and throughout history? C) Is it true gold is the best conductor of electricity of all the elements? D) Is gold the heaviest of all the metals?

Tuesday, November 13

Question.

How long will a typical class II (G) star (like our sun) stay on the main sequence before exhausting its fusionable fuel and imploding into a dwarf star, leaving an expanding ring of gas called a planetary nebula, or else going supernova, which will make the star shine for a few days or weeks as bright as the rest of its home galaxy combined, creating the heavier elements up to uranium in the process with which it will then seed dust clouds and pave the way for second and third generation stars, meanwhile leaving its own leftover core of matter in a very bad state, collapsing into either an 'ordinary' neutron star, denser varieties of neutron stars called pulsars or magnetars, or giving up completely and falling into a single point around which a black hole is said to have formed (defined by the Schwartzschild radius and not approachable any closer than its event horizon - which has a radius derived solely from the mass of the collapsed core)? And are there any tricks or assumptions in this question, beyond the main answer, which seem objectionable to you? Open floor, anyone.
Question.

What was Mandi Mártonffy's all-time favorite game as a kid, and still is?

Monday, November 12

Question.

The message to Leia's father's wife's son's mentor was sent by whom, in the 1977 movie Star Wars?

Friday, November 9

The always-pretentious 'wish list'

Okay, I'm no kid anymore and only a few people that read this blog are even relatives of mine. The rest of you I've likely never even met so I expect no gifts for Christmas or anything of the sort, though I do still want you as friends if that's all right with you. I'm putting this link out there for maybe 1 or 2 people, and also as a curiosity for those who love to spy on other people's wish lists. Notice I said lists as in the plural of a single list. This link should take you to the top list, something to do with Animals, and along the left you'll see going all the way down to at least 'W', lists with varied themes. I like lots of different things, you see.

The secret is, it's not really a place for me to list things I actually expect anyone to buy me. I got over that quite awhile ago anyways. It's become more or less my headquarters for keeping track of things that look cool, I would like to have, don't want to forget about, or I can just plain dream about for some of the really expensive items. So don't think I'm that pretentious. Anyways, have a look if you want to and if you don't want to, then don't. But thanks for reading this if you've gotten all the way down here. It means my self-effacing, colloquial tone has just made you read two whole paragraphs about a set of ridiculous (but well-organized, I must admit) lists that I don't even expect you to make use of! That's Real Ultimate Power.

Plus, maybe somebody will actually come through with a truckload of that stuff on Christ's and my birthday, which would totally rule.

Justin's Amazon Wishlist Portal...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=sv_wl_4/103-4213158-1829442

Thursday, November 8

The circularity of life.

If life seems repetitive and anticlimactic, just think of it this way: it is. I've noticed in my millennia upon this earth that nearly everything turns out to be cyclical except the bookends of birth and death, and we just don't know about those because we're inside that particular system with no outer vantage point. I can't tell you how old I feel sometimes and how old the past is, and that's just my own past, which as I've stated goes just back to the height of Rome and no further. But even if we consider, say, the last oh, 30 years of it, it still seems old enough to make dead grandparents cry in their graves. I remember thinking foggy ages ago that I'd seen it all, that the past then was practically precambrian. We repeat crushes, loves, heartbreaks, interviews, goodbye parties, seeing bands, seeing movies, seeing people cross the street. Eating. Taking your millionth shower. Driving to work on a cold morning hoping the heat begins to work soon, getting there without remembering the drive. Rinse, repeat. Repeat, recycle. Bicycles along a country lane, planes forever landing and Europeans clapping, not being able to crap, ending up drunk on someone's landing. Poems composed in confinement, comprised of refinements, disposed of by mistake. The endless process of makeovers we call upgrades to ourselves as we age. The dead, long past. It's always there and always growing. How can we move on?

Sunday, November 4

Be a great poet! Or a good poet. Or a better poet than you are now.

There are volumes and volumes of information about how to learn to write poetry, from no-nonsense meter-and-verse specififics to whoa-man stuff about opening your senses and letting it flow freeform onto the page. There are even people to whom the shape of the poem itself as written conveys some meaning. Without rehashing any of this information, I want to add my two cents to the pile, but first let me warn you there are dozens of ways to write great poetry that don't all have much in common.

You could write "perfect" verse, like Roger Waters sometimes does, extremely economical with every word in its place, rhyming (often cleverly), and a crystal clear, beautiful meaning intact. This is a rare gift not everyone can achieve and I won't elaborate more on it here.

You could write "super sensory" verse like Sylvia Plath did, where "sensory" included the interpretation of her external senses and the effects they had upon her spirit. She could describe a simple scene like a bee's nest and use the most unexpected words and phrasing, yet in the end you had a very vivid, almost living sense of what she felt and experienced looking at that hive.

And so on. There are many forms of classic poetry, many which are quite beautiful and which seem simplistic but are quite challenging to adopt and say anything useful in. Some are archaic, mostly used for the telling of epic tales, and today have been mostly replaced by prose except in spots where they are meant to be archaic, like Tolkien's Elvish "lays." Mostly they're tedious though.

Anyway, my advice has nothing to do with the type of poem you want to write (perhaps it's easiest thought of in terms of free verse, but is surely not limited to it), but in the psychological way in which you set about writing the thing. Some poems are too wild, most are too tame. Of course you should avoid cliches, and read up on alliteration and all the other hallmarks of poetry, but if I could advise someone in two simple bullet point on how to write a good, original poem, given they know these basics, it would be these:

(1) Be as wild in your thinking as you can. To use a cliche, think outside the box. Use your senses in unique ways and experiment with words, word-order, jumbles of syntax, hidden meaning beneath obvious meanings, no 'meaning' at all, whatever. Just let your mind roam, and take notes. If this requires a pen and paper or a voice recorder, use those. Sitting in front of a computer isn't always an inspirational place to write. Go to the beach and take a voice recorder, and merely speak words, phrases, exclamations, questions when they occur to you. Make the process wild and the mechanism of recording it as inobtrusive as possible. Be as creative if you can.

(2) But, equally as important, you need a crap filter that is just as strong when it comes time to taking all that raw material and forging an actual poem out of it. I believe that poetry is a learned craft that very few if any come to already possessing mastery. That is why a poet must be part craftsman, and that usually involves pruning a lot and pulling weeds and killing even good ideas because you can't make them work. As much as you let your mind run wild before, now be the strictest censor when it comes to letting that stuff make it into your final poems. For every phrase of genius there may be ten that are useless. That's why it's called "raw" material. You need to refine this stuff to get maybe just a nugget or two from that vast heap. Then you can do it all over again. But the point is, just because something was written in an orgy of splendid sensory exuberance does not mean it automatically belongs in a poem, at least not a good poem.


I could go into more detail and give examples, but for now I won't. If there are people interested in watching a poem being wrought from start to finish I could probably do a blog entry on that. But the main points I wanted to make in this one is in the general: House two extreme, opposite personalities within your mind - and bring each out one after another. Go through a wild, unfettered, break-all-the-rules manic phase; then, crucially, go through a strict, tighten-it-up, toss out what is crap or even what is lovely but just doesn't work, chip and polish beautiful stone into a beautiful sculpture phase.

With just these two points in mind, I think you'll find the quality of your poetry will improve.

Thursday, November 1

Goodreads or iRead?
I don't really want to maintain two different catalogs of my books (including my catalogs), so I was wondering which of you had a preference between Goodreads and iRead, or maybe something different altogether? They are both available as apps on Facebook and I have friends using both of them (not necessarily together). Goodreads also exists as an outside website for those not using Facebook; I'm not sure about iRead.

Both have huge selections of books, but Goodread's presentation might be a little cleaner (haven't used it enough to know), and they have a bookmarklet you add to your quicklink bar (if you use that; I do), for Amazon specifically, so when you are surfing Amazon, if you see a book you want to add to your Goodread "To-Read" shelf, you just click the bookmarklet and it's done. Pretty cool.

But I'd like to standardize on something. I have about 16 books on Goodreads and about 86 on iRead, but that's a trivial fraction of the books I actually own, so I don't cafe if I have to switch to one or the other. Any opinions for those even interested in this subject? It would be nice to get the booklovers among us in our own little named group on one of those sites, so we can make recommendations to one another and show each other what we've recently read and how much we enjoyed it, what we are reading now, and recommend books to others (or ask for recommendations for a certain genre, say, and have the group respond with helpful advice).

Post your opinion!
Suggestions.
Any suggestions while we're at it for the blog should go? It will remain a mix, but what types of entries do you each enjoy most? Jokes, funny pictures, polls, quizzes, opinion pieces, poems, poem explanations, photos and paintings from around the web, photos and painting of my own, favorite lyrics, movie/book/game reviews, start-a-discussion questions (to hopefully go round in the comments section for awhile and get everyone involved), nude women, interesting links summarized beforehand, explanatory pieces where I break down something about computers or science or sports or a famous person or whatever else I may know something interesting about, and teach you about it in a hopefully short-and-sweet manner, YouTubes or streaming music, random no-right-answer questions for you to ponder and answer, screens filled with the F word, eccentric pontifications á la most of what comes out of Rex's Bristolian mouth, tales of the strange and supernatural, bears, breakfast cereals, orangutans, churches, fruit bats, very small rocks? If you've got any ideas (or several) or just want to weigh in on types of entries you prefer versus the ones you don't care for, please do so! I want to involve as many people as possible in this, it's yours as much as mine.
QUIZ Results.

The image “http://www.cleckheatoncricketclub.com/trophy.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

OK boys and girls (and Computer), we have a winnah. And that would be Disillusionist (aka Delusionist, Heath, My Brother, and any other noms de plume he may use). He won by a healthy margin over the second place contestant - the rest of you were pretty bunched up. You all did really well though except the one person who submitted all joking answers, and even he did well because he made me laugh.

I dunno how you want to handle this. I don't want to embarrass anyone (not that anyone of the rest of you did too much better or worse than any others), although I will say the girls beat the guys after
Dis. Anyone want to see the complete rankings with name and scores, or just names, or just scores, or nothing more at all? It doesn't matter to me. Submit your most intimate desires (or just preference) in the comments section. And most of all,

~•~
Thank you ALL for playing!!! It felt like the old days again with even some recent irregulars coming out of the woodwork to play. Fun!
~•~

Tuesday, October 30

QUIZ

Here's a homemade-as-apple-pie quiz for you all. Start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.

1. What has more carrying capacity, an African or a European swallow?
2. Who was the point guard and "face of the Lakers" in the 1980s?
3. Who is the protagonist of Anne of Green Gables (first and last name)?
4. What color did E.T. turn when he got sick?
5. Mozart's rival, played by F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus, was named what?
6. Who did the musical score for the movie Whale Rider?
7. How did singer/guitarist Jeff Buckley die in the 1990s?
8. What famous song of Leonard Cohen's did Jeff Buckley cover?
9. Róisín Murphy was formerly part of which British band?
10. 'Takk' means what in both Icelandic and Norwegian?

11. Who plays the protagonist in the film Emile Zola?
12. What sport may involve wrong 'uns, googlies, top-spinners, and flippers?
13. Name the four tennis Grand Slam events by location and type of playing surface.
14. What is Frodo' s relationship to Bilbo?
15. Who was the protagonist of the novel Pride and Prejudice? Full name preferred.
16. How many of the"big five" Academy Award categories did Silence of the Lambs win?
17. Wot's the sad sod called who scrubs dishes all day at a place at which he can't afford to eat?
18. What's worst - Boy Bands, Marching Bands, Mariachi Bands, or Speedmetal Bands?
19. What is the top speed recorded by radar that a baseball has ever been pitched?
20. Name as many actors who have played James Bond as you can.

21. What are the 3 top-selling albums of all-time? Bonus points for the right order.
22. What album stayed on the US Billboard 200 list a record-shattering 741 consecutive weeks?
23. Who is Norah Jones' famous father?
24. Dumbledore never married. Is he straight, bisexual, gay, or is his sexuality unknown?
25. Apple have just released a new version of their OS X operating system. What is its name?
26. Microsoft recently did the same with their Windows operating system. What is its name?
27. Most atoms are composed of three basic particles. What are they?
28. In turn, these "subatomic" particles (and others) are ALL composed of a basic building block. Which is what?
29. Many sports use the term "hat trick." What does this generally mean?
30. How many points is a basket shot from behind the half court line that goes in the bucket worth?

Send in your answers as emails to justin.sias@gmail.com (Thanks for thinking of this, Bill), your sick and your starving, your toddlers and old memories. I'll grade each question up to 5 points depending on "how correct and complete" the answer is, and some that are debatable I will award points based on the merit of the explanation for the answer. Honor system strongly enforced! Please no using the internet for answers to these questions. There are no penalties for guessing wrong; you'll probably score 0 as though you'd not answered the question at all. So it pays to guess, as long as you don't mind looking lame once in awhile.

I'll give this quiz until at least 3, and hopefully 4 or more, people answer it, then I will announce the answers, the winner (I will reveal your score to you privately if you are not the winner but wish to see how you did, so as not to embarrass anyone, unless Rex is last, in which case I'll proclaim that to everyone).

I'll also accept any suggestions for "themes" for future quizzes or ideas for new games - word games, perhaps? - that would be fun in an asynchronous blog format (what you are reading).

Game on!

Friday, October 26




What Monty Python Character are you?


Well, u-- um, can we come up and have a look?

Take this quiz!

Wednesday, October 24

(Please click picture)

Tuesday, October 23

GUESS WHO'S BACK.


Surely life is richer with both ends present.
People who only want the acoustic ballad,
They get beauty poured upon them in spades.
But beauty unending soon grows expected,
Less inflected; less a foil for pain.

Surely the sweetest a rose can smell
Is after an experience with the stink of hell.
I don't understand those who just feel anger:
A constant stranger to comforts all deserve,
But nor is bliss reserved to serenity.


X

The devil child films we watched or thought
About the witching, the thrill more potent than the chill
The 13th generation since Benjamin Franklin rankling
Last onto the flag that said don't tread on me, dead feet
First ones to feel the firing of the Cold War's searing heat
The decade or so that was so special to us then
And so different from what came before or happened since
Was just another illusion. Every generation has their illusion.
Generation Y is so strange, everything is mixed together
I feel disoriented but not in any way that's clever
Maybe it's old bones shouting at the new ones with
Their breaks regrown; Maybe it is that simple, "Kiss
Me he said, then kill me," when it all felt wrong.
How can you blame him? His first romance was a song
A ballroom dance in a whirling throng, with mirrors
On the ceiling, what he was feeling then, and was it then, then?
In these days, subtleties don't belong. Get lost. You're one of
Hundreds of millions of bodies blogging, out jogging
Getting in shape for the raping and flogging of your talent
Thinking it amounts to something, counts as being strong.


1409

Who is aware of everything
That is out there
And believes their theory of the decade
Whatever decade they are in
To be true
To really be the truth?
I believe in not believing. There is no truth
That we could ever comprehend
We are not descended from angels
We are grown up from bacteria
And may be half way there
Half way still means a lot of fragile nights
Spent in motels without working lights
And bad decisions.
Love can be a great or a terrible
Decision. They all grabbed onto something
In my poem from April; three were there
All are still here, somehow
But they're like phantoms to me
I can only type and watch, but watching
Blind. I can only touch keys,
Cannot truly see them in motion
And and ocean or a great plane divides
So I think to myself, what
If I was right? In fourth grade when
I missed that bell. When I was so scared
Who in the hell can tell me where
I can find a contradiction? Will you share?
Because I'm not inclined to
Disregard experience. I'm not
In room 1408, I haven't a thing to my name
In all actually except what I am
Thinking.

Samhain


In the flood
In the mud
Children chasing soldiers
Dogs chasing children
Shells of towns
So carved out, skinny
Unempty, diseased helmets with...
What are we doing here anyway?
What were we thinking?
Tears don't make a difference in a place
That is crying all the time


For nothing did we race to the moon
Put troops on the ground too soon
Never finish the "job"
I want to wash my face and have
A cool rag now
Just thinking of the raw nerves
The broken down lives
Of hundreds of thousands
Wandering the streets
Abroad and at home
Now sincerely alone


I am sick of the luxury of peace
Upon our own soil
But I won't give it up, I know
And I cannot live at all
Unless I can do something real
About the other sad souls
That carpet the earth's most
Desolate hell holes
What were we there for anyway?
Can he tell me that?
Now the world's grown a bit colder
Unenlightened by democracy


Shoved down their throats
By an M-16
Animals on both sides
Fear leaking from pores
Of those on both sides
Who wants this?
No ones wants to be seen backing down
So I will. I back away from anger
As a solution to anything
I can't count the number of times I've cried
But tears don't mean a thing in a world
That is crying all the time.


Timeline of life on earth.

4 billion years ago. Microbial life begins near heat vents in a worldwide ocean. Not too exciting.

1 billion years ago. Multicellular life evolves and quickly diversifies and spreads into almost every environmental niche. All of it's still in the ocean though.

600 million years ago. Animals as a distinct kingdom of life evolve. Begin to colonize land in various ways.

475 million years ago. Land plants evolve, but not flowers or trees. Mostly ferns and mosses.

400 million years ago. Insects evolve and have been annoying ever since.

360 million years ago. Amphibians evolve and have been squishy and boring ever since.

300 million years ago. Reptiles evolve and get really big and take over the earth.

200 million years ago. Mammals evolve sort of unnoticed.

150 million years ago. Birds evolve. They fly around.

130 million years ago. Flowers finally evolve so dinosaur Romeos can gather them for their Juliets. Trees and fruit too but they aren't as popular with the ladies.

65 million years ago. A big extinction event kills almost all the dinosaurs and mammals shamelessly use this advantage to get big and take over the world.

2 millions years ago. Modern humans evolve in Africa and decide to take over the world. The flower trick works pretty well for them, too.

25 Dec 4. Jesus of Nazareth is born and people mistake him for God. This gets him killed.

25 Dec 1642. Isaac Newton is born and goes on to revolutionize our understanding of nature.

1776. The United States is sort-of born. This will be a good thing for quite awhile, then get bad when fast food chains and the Bible Belt are formed.

25 Dec 1972. Justin of California is born. Hilarity ensures. A few good poems are written.

2012. The Aztec Calendar predicts the end of the world. Nothing even close to that happens.

2029. A big asteroid tries to do us in but small rockets nudge it out of the way in time.

2032. World Peace is finally achieved at the nation level. Everyone seems pretty optimistic about the future of humanity.

2033. A Type II supernova occurred some time ago in our neck of the Milky Way just by pure chance, and the burst of gamma rays arrives at the same time as the pretty images on telescopes all over the earth, which is then utterly extinguished of all life in less than a day.

Nobody goes to Heaven or Hell, which turn out not to exist. No one is reincarnated as someone else, because life in the solar system is GONE. There wasn't enough time for humans to colonize anywhere but the moon and have some plans to maybe get something going on Mars soon.

The End.
This world is made by and run by extroverts. And they happily divide themselves into crowds, groups, cliques. People seem pretty sure who they are and fit into their small slice of the human pie and adopt its culture, while missing out on the rest of the ways it could feel like to live. My problem is the one of a person with too many choices who is afraid to commit to any one of them. I can see myself adopting almost any of these lifestyles, and for short periods, trying to find myself, I have. But I always backed out because I hated the exclusivity. While it does make you a part of something, and you get some truly close friends and find some comfort in having that niche role in the world that you're good at (like a character class that you level up in the more you play it), you increasingly get locked out of other lifestyles and the trails diverge. There are sure to be great, wise, loving, happy people on those trails too. But you can't play all the games or even really more than one or two, or people think you're fake or insecure. It's all so stupid. It's why I stay introverted, as a way of not dealing with the problem. Of being no part of it. But this is by far the loneliest road, the solitary one. I write my own story and no one has cleared the path for me. It's such hard work I don't even think I'm up to it anymore. I used to think I was, but I have gotten old in my head, and I can't jump when I say jump these days.
Words can't do it, only songs can. Only the emotive voice with instrumentation. Visual art can do it too, sometimes, though it's more something I "get" and then eagerly show others, but not something I've the skill yet (or maybe ever) to really express myself in as a creator. I can write though. And I could sing in a band, if only that weren't so cliche and so overwhelmingly stupid and hard to break into. I deeply despise the music *industry* but I love and am utterly enchanted with music.

Where are the people who appreciate nuances in singing voices? Who FEEL lyrics if they know the melody behind them? Where in sum are the people like me? Am I alone on this planet? Am I the only one whose heart rips from his chest when I hear a high note done just right, or the word I was just dying to hear tie off the perfect phrase in a chorus? And then go and try to use typography in some crude fashion to recreate this experience, this sound, the emotion for others, when it shall inevitably be lost on them?

I hate people so much I am surprised myself. I don't even feel like one.

The child is father to the man.




Some things just won't stay dead.

Thursday, September 27


LUNARIA


(j.sias - digitally created from stock images)


Dreams, dreams
That's all they are is dreams
That's all they'll ever be
Until you make them real
They're ethereal
My dreams
And if you make them real
They're not dreams anymore
Just broken open seeds of things
But that's okay
It's beautiful
Because you get to make new ones
All the time
And that's wonderful
They're wonderful things
My dreams
It's a beautiful thing, to
Open your mind to possibilities
To see beyond the walls of
Boring reality
So I hold to them close
The seeds that may one day sprout
Some of them dare peek out
Others close their eyes and sleep
To sleep, perchance
To dream on their own
And I smile because I know
What no one else knows
My dreams
They're beautiful things
My dreams
The most wonderful things
I own.


Wednesday, September 26


"Moondream" by Ann Erpino

Tuesday, September 25


“This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
(morrissey)

In a river the colour of lead
Immerse the baby's head.
Wrap her up in the News of the World
Dump her on a doorstep, girl.

This night has opened my eyes
And I will never sleep again.

You kicked and cried like a bullied child
A grown man of twenty-five.
Oh, he said he'd cure your ills
But he didn't and he never will.

Oh, save your life
Because you've only got ONE

The dream has gone
But the baby is real.
Oh, you did a Good thing
She could have been a poet or she could have been a fool.
Oh, you did a Bad thing
And i'm not happy and i'm not sad

A shoeless child on a swing
Reminds you of your own again.
She took away your troubles
Oh, but then again, she left pain.

So, please save your life
Because you've only got ONE

The dream has gone
But the baby is real.
Oh, you did a Good thing
She could have been a poet or she could have been a fool.
Oh, you did a Bad thing
And i'm not happy and i'm not sad
And i'm not happy and i'm not sad
And i'm not happy and i'm not sad

Sunday, September 23

peace #2 - j. sias
Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun
(Roger Waters)

Little by little the night turns around
Counting the leaves which tremble at dawn
Novices lean on each other in yearning
Under the leaves the swallow is resting
Set the controls for the heart of the sun
Over the mountain watching the watcher
Breaking the darkness waking the grapevine
One inch of love is one inch of shadow
Love is the shadow that ripens the wine
Set the controls for the heart of the sun
Witness the man who raves at the wall
Making the shape of his question to heaven
Whether the sun will fall in the evening
Will he remember the lesson of giving
Set the controls for the heart of the sun

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