Saturday, June 17, 2017

Round adventure; The raccoons are coming; Don't worry, be happy

Emily, occupational therapist, Linden Grove Rehab, Mukwonago
expects her first child, a girl, very soon.

Pictured here she plays bounce the balloon with the rehabbing SRN editor
testing his ability to balance standing no-hands within his walker to send back
the orb she bumped from random angles.
We were smitten by her roundness similarity with the balloon
held aloft and her gate-belt supporting of her little girl to be.

Photo taken a month ago
With our Lower Crustacean LC cell cam.
We bid Emily and the other therapists adieu 5-31-17
She was working then and getting much rounder.

I wonder?

Another roundness, from 2001 A Space Oddysey

You're going to have fun

Round adventure


While the City Sleeps
Waukeshans complacently enjoy their town-grown-to-city
With it’s well-policed, clean, safe streets
And the cerulean blue skies overhead;
Or when it rains

The rain washing everything anew and flowing
If heavy
Away like dirty bathwater down the drain
Out of sight, out of mind;  oh yes,

We think of everything and take for granted
That the solid terra-firma plane on which we work and play
 IS as storybooked as it appears
And that the sky overhead here is relatively terrorless

That covers two of the three physical dimensions
But we never think about the seething subterranean world
Beneath the city where that dirty bathwater flows
Unless we happen to be with the Sanitation Department

And as far as I know, they aren’t talking;
My friends, we co-exist over a nether-world
About which we never think
And the Sewer Raccoons down there - that’s right - count on our ignorance;

Their profligacy festers beneath us
Growing daily, like whiskers becoming a dread-locked beard
But we don’t know it because we trust in our local government
And in what we see

The coons, woe to us!  phantoms of this opera are
Just a few feet beneath Waukesha in archen coves and caverns
Until nightfall when every storm grate at every corner
Becomes an open doorway into our elysian yards and gardens;

Marauders on velvet paws which they keep licking, masked,
They steal about under cover of nocturnal shadows, late,
When the windows of our proud houses show black; 
It’s then the Sewer Coons take over the town;   by day,

These slick creatures have free rein in their underworld
Bartering our garden produce in little shops and bazaars
In their sub-city
Where they swarm and reproduce like rabbits;

They have their own school district where all the little coons
Study burglary and ankle-nipping;
So far they are content with their lowly position, hence,
The Sanitation Department, the Mayor and the Aldermen

Only monitor them and do not tell us of their spreading presence
 An Amos or a Paul Revere I send this warning
For I live nearer the Fox River in one of the town’s ruder huts
And the Sewer Coons are, though proliferating

Concentrated only in our poorer neighborhoods at the present time;
By the railroad tracks and the Fox River waterway,
But the storm sewer web is beneath us all, free and accessible
And even now no one is safe

I have again lately seen the coons emerge from the grate at our corner
As has my wife;  we know the desolation
Of having our grapes stolen from our vines;
We’ve actually heard the coons’ little “chick-chick-chick” sounds;

Close-up, we’ve seen the phosphorescent reflection of their eyes
In our flashlight beams; they run, are not brazen yet – oh, no -
Carrying little bindles over their hump-ed shoulders
And make their dash back to their grated holes,

Furred hit-and-run warriors, in place,
Waiting for their messiah to come, perhaps from Milwaukee or Chicago
The Really Big Raccoon King, to marshal them into an invading army,
Meanwhile waxing stronger in secret on grapes and sacked left-overs;

And sometimes we think we can hear muffled “tink”s
As they pound on their tiny anvils under Arcadian Avenue
Making suits of armor on foot-pumped forges; flaring
Light seems to flash from the gratings after the clock has struck twelve

And I go out and listen at my corner sewer entrance
And hear their “YO-OH, HO HO!” chants
Echoing softly up from below;
The Sewer Raccoons are coming, the Sewer Raccoons are coming!

[David Dix]


Cousin Mark comes up from Brooklyn, Iowa
on his motor cycle to see the phenomenon, points at the sewer raccoons
while SRN Ed. observes


KD stretches 

KD Cat arises from nap on birdseed shopping bag
made by Gramaw Means - Dee's mother - 
of Pleasant Valley, MD


don't worry
be happy
song by Bob Marley

performed by Playing For Change
Music Around the World

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Feeding me; Earthing; Getting numb; Felling; Flying by night

will you still need me
will you still feed me
when I'm.....81?

Still operative into week 2 out of rehab.
 This picture from 
Alaskan daughter Laurie
of baby birds
the sort we're all familiar with

The wide open mouths shooting for
better  catching of bugs dropped
over their sibling's ditto gapings

every creature imploring -
ME, feed ME!

Widened hoop's diameters
for game-winning buckets

before a final buzzer

Or archery targets with 
double-size bullseyes

it comes down to a cry
borne by all:


Another picture this week
came over the wire from daughter Laurie
she who makes unusual suggestions at times.

She urged me to go out on the flower bedded veranda
at Linden Grove Mukwonago
and take off my moccasins and stand
barefooted on the earth.

Below she is standing thus on the grasses, moss and clover
outside her home in Wasilla.

When recently in Wisconsin where she grew up
she told recuperatng me, wheel-chaired,
to conduct myself accordingly.

I said could I wait until I get home
on South St.?  I could go to the nearest bed of grass
outside our courtyard and stand amidst the
cigarette butts and dog waste

of our rented earth.

Laurie saw probably that this was another
example of her dad being not with it.

Laurie  Dix Kari grounding in  AK
Note variety of greenery upon which she stands

Wanting to know more
I went to Google and checked earthing out.
I found this website

I also checked my old health guru
Dr. Andrew Weil on the web
and found this:

Is There Anything to "Earthing"?

I recently read about the practice of “earthing” – the idea that walking barefoot outside will “ground” us and make us healthier. Is there any scientific basis for these claims?
– JANUARY 8, 2013

“Earthing” also called “grounding” stems from the idea that in modern city life we no longer have direct physical contact with the Earth, and therefore are losing out on purported health benefits of exchanging electrons with the surface of our planet. A handful of small studies have found that grounding appears to provide some general health benefits, such as better sleep, less pain, reduced stress and tension, and better immune function compared to study participants who weren’t grounded. One study suggested that earthing eliminates the potentially harmful effects of the electromagnetic fields given off by all the electronic devices that surround us.
According to earthing proponents, you can ground yourself by walking outside barefoot, sitting on the ground or being connected to the Earth via grounding devices that transfer electrons from the earth to your body. There are even special shoes that feature copper contacts the soles, linking the body to the earth.
Supposedly, electrons drawn into the body from the earth neutralize damaging free radicals and by extension reduce disease-related chronic or acute inflammation. In one investigation, participants slept on a special mat that had a connection to a grounding device outside the house. When compared to the ungrounded participants in the same study, the grounded ones showed significant changes in key biomarkers including serum sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, total protein and others.
Earthing enthusiasts claim that throughout history, our ancestors walked barefoot or wore shoes made from animal skins, which gave them direct contact with the Earth. Of course, for the most part those ancestors, grounded or not, lived short, hard lives for a variety of reasons, so it is difficult to draw conclusions about the effect of grounding, if any, on their overall health.
We’ll need additional studies of better design and with more participants before we can know whether it is really possible to derive health benefits from earthing. While the studies done so far are intriguing, some of the hype for earthing is over-the-top. I don’t buy the extravagant claim by one proponent that, “You can literally feel the pain draining from your body as soon as you touch the earth.” Is that something you’ve noticed whenever you’ve stood barefoot in your backyard or kicked off your sandals at the beach?
Be aware that there’s a substantial commercial aspect to earthing. One website that I visited sells a range of equipment, including earthing beds said to do what “no other mattress on the planet can…(reconnect) you to the Earth’s gentle, natural healing energy while you sleep.”
I’m all for going barefoot whenever possible, outdoors or in. It simulates the feet and can be very relaxing. Those who practice reflexology often recommend walking barefoot on round stones to help stimulate pressure points on the feet, and I’ve written on this site about the relatively new enthusiasm for barefoot running, which (when you get used to it) is supposed to be less jarring and less likely to lead to injuries. As for earthing, let’s wait see if future research confirms and expands on the very little we know now.
Andrew Weil, M.D.


Note the visible vibrating of the bass strings


Was the slaughter on South St. today
an accident?

One of the beautiful 
gingko trees we've heralded so often
in the Raccoon was knocked over sometime today.
And not by a night vandal.

Did it happen because one of the heavy machines 
doing the renovation work on the being-reborn street
in historic downtown Waukesha 
carelessly drove over it?

There must be witnesses to this event.
We only know that there is a sorry broken tree
lying in a green clump on the 
rotunda parking area.

This tree had much going for it.
Joy and grace for passers-by.
It will not join its brother and sister Gingko trees
running the length of of our South street section.

Downtown business owners and their customers who went past it 
on their way to famed Dady-Oh's restaurant
traversing the short jaunt from the parking ramp
to their destination will not have that tree anymore.

What of the Berg management folk who would have walked
beneath the cruelly-stopped branches?

We took a sprig of leaves from the reposing corpse
to bring into our home  in the South St. 1882 Putney bldg.

Ironically the stem had to be beaten in a briefly violent way
like the trunk was broken in full.  This was done to increase the leaves
recovery in our Mason jar vase. 

For more on the South St. Gingkos:


Fly by night

Rev. Tom Bentz, Ret'd, Delaware by the sea

A fleeting squadron of tiny flying things  
(Fly, gnat, moth, mosquito, something with fast fluttering translucent wings)
That are drawn to the torch of my unscreened porch laplight   
Land and scan or cross the lines of this poem as it comes from me to the screen.
We meet here only in passing.  
They appear to have nothing in mind but light and heat on a simmering summer night.
Though the heirs of millennia, they now barely matter to me
As they flutter in and by for a day or night or few,
While I, fitting survivor and victor of evolution,
Have in mind, if not in sight,
Infinity and eternity,
Epic poetry,
Or at least a few lines
That might fly
In that direction
Toward the light 
Not in
But beyond
Our sight.   

Rec'd 6-10-17

Saturday, June 3, 2017

home again; she had baked a cake

What doesn't belong in this picture?

It has been about three months since we 'published' the Raccoon News.

 In late March we fell and broke a hip and an attached leg bone.

Thus began a more intimate familiarization with our bones.

A long story of rehab ensued.

We are now finished with most of it and are at home on South St.

The photo of us having hobbled to the table with our new walker
was taken today, moments ago in fact.
our 'graduation' from Linden Grove Mukwonago was marked by our target of
negotiating the 6 steps in our third floor down to our hallway front door.

W were then presented with the walker and after a month at Linden Grove
were given our marching papers.

Marching an overstatement at the moment.

We were heartened by the kind and careful treatment given us
there.  The therapists brought us up to the levels we now employ
and for that we are grateful.

From unable to move the left leg without excruciating pain
to this wonderful state of moving from place to place
with the aid at the moment of the walker is a blessing.

The therapists Tammy and Chris (lnsu) primarily accomplished
this what seemed to us as a miracle through careful manipulation from
square one to now.

We briefly thought that age at 81 it would be perhaps undoable.
"You CAN do this" still rings in our ears.


and walked through the door to our much-missed
home, there was the welcome home table,
uncluttered as shown in the photo above.

It held flowers and a welcome home strawberry cake Dee 
had baked, a simulation of the covered crockery cake plate
given us by the Rev. Leroy last year.

It was the we say zany strawberry plate that belonged
to the Reverend's late mother.

Dee had done it again, our Metatron angel.
Without her, since long ago, we wouldn't be here.

~ That is all for now ~

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A platter of frogs; How's your weather out there?; Cryin'; Looks familiar; Enveloped

A platter of frogs

As our collection of Thailand frogs gathers steam
they now occupy a platter,
plus those we have sent out to family, friends,
and regular commenters on the Raccoon.

All others, contact Turtle Island Imports.
Our hope is that gatherers on street corners,
peaceful protesters against Humpty-Trumpty
will take the frog voices up in unison 

to negate the need for mounted horse riders
and other order-keeping forces
near quiet downtown's Cutler Park,
to foil  their raucous spoilage.

Who can complain?

Like delightful Spring Peepers in a marsh.
The usual many.


In a froggish mis-leap
we note that the Trumpkin artful deal-maker
has ordered thousands of green St. Patrick's hats
but with  non-Irish FOUR leaf clovers on the back!

Another Department Store recall ahead!


by Faith Shearin

Listen Online

There is weather on the day you are born
and weather on the day you die. There is
the year of drought, and the year of floods,
when everything rises and swells,
the year when winter will not stop falling,
and the year when summer lightning
burns the prairie, makes it disappear.
There are the weathervanes, dizzy
on top of farmhouses, hurricanes
curled like cats on a map of sky:
there are cows under the trees outlined
in flies. There is the weather that blows
a stranger into town and the weather
that changes suddenly: an argument,
a sickness, a baby born
too soon. Crops fail and a field becomes
a study in hunger; storm clouds
billow over the sea;
tornadoes appear like the drunk
trunks of elephants. People talking about
weather are people who don’t know what to say
and yet the weather is what happens to all of us:
the blizzard that makes our neighborhoods
strange, the flood that carries away
our plans. We are getting ready for the weather,
or cleaning up after the weather, or enduring
the weather. We are drenched in rain
or sweat: we are looking for an umbrella,
a second mitten; we are gathering
wood to build a fire.

"Weather" by Faith Shearin from Orpheus, Turning. © The Broadkill River Press, 2015




Been here before

Thy Spring Be Sprung

Thanks be to global warmin'
My premature mind bees swarmin'
To early thoughts of upshoots everywhere

Our mutual friends Sunny and Norman
Left for Florida yesterday mornin’
But gol-ding it, hits like Florida rat here!

I'm thinkin' of a thang so rampant
No rain or age can dampen it
A future totem's fixin' to join the other'n out there

Got to make a hole, cement and clamp it
When the temps are warm enough to dig and tamp it 
People are ask'n what these things stand for outside my lair

But I don't tell 'em nothin much about it
They're just painted 16 ft. poles, that's about it
The beauty is that now I'm going to have a pair
"But what do they stand for, Dave? Please.....
We gots-ta know, we're on our bended knees!'
~ They stand because they stand and they are rare ~

Oh, I hates to be so inscrutable
But on this I'm jus' immutable
I'm of an age now (64) when I don't care"

[David Zep Dix 2-28-2000]

Ed note
Now I am 81 and I still feel that way



When we were in seventh grade, Jr. High School,
1949, in The Lincoln Building, Waukesha
we were required to take one of several shop courses
along with our academic studies.

We opted for the type-setting course
not knowing that that form of printing
would soon be dead thanks to the prevailing 
linotype machines.  An earlier automation.

But now, in March 2017, we have found a set of type rubber stamps
which enable us to return to the days of seventh grade type-setting
 - sort of -
and we are making custom envelopes for our personal

Some examples below:

As we meld this older technology today (3/10/17)
with our our up-to-the-minute computer printer
KD Cat, printer's apprentice, waiting for the
mystery machine to begin its magic.

This event is reminiscent of our
poem, an oldie ~

Backwards In the Sun

From a man loathe to give up the manual typewriter
To bow to the age of computers
Who liked push reel lawn mowers
Wringer washers
And treadle sewing machines:

 We announce that
Something good happened here to mitigate
our reluctant accessions adopting the new over the old
while sitting as a machinist
 marveling at what the word processor
And color printer can do.

 We like to correspond with fountain pen
And then hang the letter backwards in a sunny window
For a while before sending
To study the line without the ability to read text
As if the right or wrong  will show
And save us from mistake or unmeant innuendo

Hand script, even supposedly horrible hand script
Sometimes dangerous from the front side
Takes on a loveliness when viewed backwards
And this is interesting when one thinks
Of evaluations involving all angles and facets
Rather than merely the most obvious surface

(How often have we sent letters not so carefully inspected)

The thinner the paper for this sunlit viewing
the better:
We remembered a box of old onion-skin typing paper
we had from when thinner meant more copies
Yielded by typewriters and carbon paper
Before clicks and double clicks and infinite production

We got this dusty box down and opened the lid
To find nearly a full box of crispy thin sheets
Audibly-crinkling onion skin paper
Talking paper very loud to the touch
After all that time being cooped up

Like a presumed useless ugly duckling
Or love-starved oldster getting dryer
It leaps to respond to the slightest tactility
And you cannot buy it anymore.

Who needs it?

On the word processor so novel to us
we can practically put cardboard through
And obtain glorious-looking pages
But they don't talk when we handle them
They are dead except for the images on them
Not so with onion skin
It says something.

You must be of an age to appreciate V- (victory) Mail
From World War II when loved ones communicated
Across seas on government-mandated crackling tissue paper
To keep the weight of transport down
And to reduce bulk.
 It was a practical and beautiful medium.

We inspected father's letters then on the flip side to the light
After we had digested all from the most obvious facade
We knew there must be more from him than that
Which showed on just one surface;
 We were six years old

We searched side-ways both sides and between the lines
 We became familiar with the look, feel and sound of onion skin
Our one contact with Dad and so much  preferred
To the dreaded telegram on yellow paper;
That bad paper never wanted never came here
And to find a whole box of  lively paper 65 years after
Those haunting hungry scrutinies was a blessing.

We had it among our high basement cobwebs
- Must have known it had value -
It had escaped years of throwing out
In silent peace like a covered bird
 Intact a perfectly good box of now off-white paper

backwards fountain-penned sheets in sunny windows
Will vibrate while this irreplaceable and
Obsolete box lasts

It will last long this, new lost art
Because there are so many dry leaves fitted in the old box
Like memories they are so very thin
But strong.
Tearing such gossamer  is  not as easy as you'd suppose

In our cyber-spacial kingdom there are many color images
In our computer's memory many favorite old snapshots
And vivid drawings we've committed to that realm
And our fountain pen will not quit till we do.

A way is pointed to a blending
Validating procedures and leanings  in the doing,
Printing computer-generated transparencies
On talking paper - with penned script -
 And  backlighting these marriages not on an electric monitor
But in the window, backwards in the sun

(DZD )