Saturday, February 28, 2009

Could well be be finest birthday, EVER

Added loot
(click on image to read)

from wife Dee
after a long perusal at

to be cont'd

Friday, February 27, 2009


The Raccoon News just received a major accoutrement for our admittedly small enterprise!
A Brother raccoon, Les Dix II, sent the kit below for our birthday. We guess we referred to our mere 2 pixel camera once too often. We cannot imagine what clarity will ensue, the movies we can shoot and Utube-ize with the amended 8 GB memory card sent separately from New York. Endless possibility.
We must do some studying and we will become knowledgeable. The SRN is only going up from here! Thanks a lot, Les, on behalf of raccoon readers everywhere.

Honoring Henry David Thoreau

From last Sunday's NY Times editorial page, customarily the final entry on the page, and in Verlyn Klinkenborg's way, always an uplifting commentary:
Mayhap, Mr. Klinkenborg, you refer to such writing by Thoreau as the below, culled from his book, A week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, which we are currently re-reading:

(On the farmers he saw on his canoe explorations & elsewhere, in the 1800's)

“You shall see rude and sturdy, experienced and wise men, keeping their castles, or teaming up their summer’s wood, or chopping alone in the woods, men fuller of talk and rare adventure in the sun and wind and rain, than a chestnut is full of meat; who were out not only in ’75 and 1812, but have been out every day of their lives; greater men than Homer, or Chaucer, or Shakespeare, only they never got time to say so; they never took to the way of writing. Look at their fields, and imagine what they might write, if ever they should put pen to paper. Or what have they not written on the face of the earth already, clearing, and burning, and scratching, and harrowing, and plowing, and subsoiling, in and in, and out and out, and over and over, again and again, erasing what they had already written for want of parchment.”

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fit for a king

The King! The King!
The raccoon king paid us another visit this morning. His blindness rapped on the door with his cut-down red and white cane, and we gave him immediate entrance. It's a rainy day in Waukesha, and he came attired in his royal rainslicker, dripping wet. We were not expecting any callers today.
It happened that he arrived just in time for a cup of cocoa which we were preparing for ourselves. We presented him with a good china cupful after he settled himself by the fire and we offered him his royal choice of spoons. We thought he would select our best sterling silver spoon, which we use daily for its perfect design and lip conformance, discounting its value in precious metal.
But the King, selected a novelty spoon we'd bought from Kruger's Antiques years ago. "Aha! I see you have a Charlie McCarthy spoon!" I'd like to use that!"
At first we were taken aback that he even knew who Charlie McCarthy was. But then remembered how truly old he is.
We had a delightful hour together and then he departed for his royal chamber beneath the old post office downtown, by way of the sewer entrance across the street.
"Always a pleasure."
For other SRN spoon info:

The naughty things you say go on and on.....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Mystical Obama inauguration flower opens

Raccoon readers will recall that we planted an Olsons'Ace hardware store amarylis plant on Inauguration Day, 1-20. We had purchased two bulbs at Christmas time, one for our daughter-in-law, Sue Dix.
We figured they would be identical so we gave one to Sue and kept ours here at hdqtrs for an auspicious occasion.
Sue's opened, much to the Dousman Dix's delight, a proven beauty (see photo below) but ours just continued to produce more and more foliage, and no blooms. Hope (get it?) was about given up. Our vaunted bulb was all show and no go. Like Bush, all hat and no cowboy.
But then the miraculous occurred. Finally. Yesterday, on the day of the State of the Union address and just in time for Denise's return from her week at the Maryland farm, IT OPENED! It was worth the wait, for it turned out to be a mutant in a variegated coloration, red, black and white. And the sexual aspects were leather and glittery. We guess we kept the right one amarylis after all. (REPUBLICAN READERS WILL KINDLY KEEP THEIR OBSERVATIONS TO THEMSELVES.)

Sue, happy owner of a regular amarylis, completes a Cooney 5 K with jr. raccoon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Traveling minister sends penny post cards

here's a website for you:

A friend sent the sewer raccoon this advisory on just how much data might be crammed into the ether.

Try it. It works!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

National pastime?

Hey, kids! It's OK to be like me........

Friday, February 20, 2009


If I had a crystal ball........

oh, wait a minute,

I do;

right out there in the back yard

on the Vulcan Weathervanes beacon light

made in the 1980s from recycled railings;

Well, then

since the rising sun over the fence is catching the globe in its rays

creating an appropriate changing picture of frost and mist

but with a clearing atmosphere within

- under the unfluence of Old Sol -

it causes me to speculate;

That crystal ball has sat there on that cobbled creation, offering readings

if anyone cared to look

of the state of the union and many etceteras

for the entire eight years of ex. President George Bush & co.

and before,

and now, under Obama

a mist is clearing and a sunny day obtains

and that is good news for a hand-shader

of a 2 pixel antique digital camera.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh, didn't he ramble........

Northwoods, 1976

The meditation ORDURATION above is from a precursor of the Sewer Raccoon News, a small magazine called Vulcan Weathervanes, executed from a manual typewriter, mimeo machine, using rubber stamps for caps and numerals, and a logo cut from a linoleum block. Early 1980's vintage..............

Monday, February 16, 2009


luncheon avec pear

kindly note:

following arduous morning

creating the Two-zie shirts

we were rewarded by (soon 2-B-fline)

Mere Denise

with a light but palletous mid-day meal

featuring a basque pear, rendered

in a delightful tone, which suggests this

font color;

- presentation a specialite of Dee -

but the holding together of the cracker

package with a clothes pin idea

is courtesy of he who edits S. Raccoonage


David Geiman

1 year old, Pleasant Valley, Maryland

"prefers" not to wear tux for Uncle John-Edward's up-coming wedding, big* David, his great-uncle, is called upon at Waukesha Sewer Raccoon headquarters to paint him a "Two-zie" in case he won't suit up. Three options are being offered. There are going to be red vests worn by the men of the party, so we did one in case there will be a need. After roughing the vest in, we realized we should stop with what we'd done and let it look as though little David might have colored it himself.

* The euphemism Little David is only that, for this temporarily l-i-t-t-l-e guy has a father who is big Luke, of the Means clan of giants. This shirt will become a collector's item for the future behemoth man, and we will resume being little Uncle David.

Dee flies out Wednesday for the event, and will take the shirt options in her carry-on. The SRN hopes he will wear the rented tux. Will find out later.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

a long-ish haul.......but with

Valentine's radiance
Elephant's watchful eye
at lower right corner
nods approval/
The sewer raccooners
after 25 years of wedlock
not always blissful /
due to
your editor/
affirm in symbol
- always in symbol -
their flame, ala: WH Auden
with inscribed candle-holder
and a Lithops plant/
a Living Stone

Nothing yet............

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Down the drain with the United Church of Christ:

In circa 1982

midnight marauders ripped off

the copper downspouts

from Friedens church, Milwaukee

presumably for the value of the metal;

that just happened again out here in Waukesha

at St. Matthias Episcopal church;

a picture in the local paper showed workmen

replacing the stolen copper gutters and downspouts.

We were members of old Friedens, a dying church in the inner city.

The incremental symptoms of imminent demise

like the ripped off metal

and the death of the boiler

and the broken stained glass windows

and the defacements and gnawings of the proud edifice

of which there were many -

too many to catalog

in this journal devoted to the uplifting of raccoons

and to life in general

~ and by the way the Delafield legionnaires are about to unleash

their annual coon feed again ~

(see this posting and other SRN postings under the coon feed heading )

But ironically enough

the long-ago pastor of Friedens

a friend unremoved by the vagaries of a transitory church

just recently passed under the above arbor

atop which is perched an elbow of one of those stolen downspouts

a piece the thieves forgot;

there were no funds for replacements;

we should have given that souvenir to our visitor

if he would have taken it;

we put it up there as a symbol (of life after death?)

in the belief that everything stands for something else

and also in hopes that perhaps robins would make an "upscale" nest there;

but so far no luck. There seems to be a lingering question, clear, even among utilitarian wildlife:



Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Gas powered, actually
keeps up steady beat
We believe it's Scandinavian
but you get the idea.........

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ain't gonna be a low-down dog no more!

Meade Lux Lewis was a favorite of mine from my 33-1/3 RPM vinyl records days.
Recently my son took one of my old scratchy Lewis records home with him and transferred it to a CD with his zap-nin now? technology, and I'm enjoying it as I type.

Here's what Wikipedia has on him:

Meade Anderson "Lux" Lewis (September 3, 1905June 7, 1964) was a United States pianist and composer noted for his work in the Boogie Woogie style. His best known work, "Honky Tonk Train Blues", has been recorded in various contexts, often in a big band arrangement. Early renditions include 1940s recordings by Adrian Rollini, Frankie Trumbauer, and Bob Zurke, with Bob Crosby's orchestra. Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer often includes it in his program, but Lewis himself did not need accompaniment, his solo performances had the power and intricacy of a sophisticated orchestral arrangement.
Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois in September 1905 (September 3rd, 4th, and 13th are given as his birthdate in various sources). In his youth he was influenced by pianist Jimmy Yancey.
A 1927 rendition of "Honky Tonk Train Blues" on the Paramount Records label marked his recording debut. He remade it for Parlophone in 1935 and for Victor in 1937, but it was his performance at John Hammond's historic From Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall, in 1938 that brought Lewis lasting fame. Following the celebrated event, Lewis and two other performers from that concert, Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson often appeared as a trio and became the leading boogie-woogie pianists of the day. They performed an extended engagement at Café Society, toured as a trio, and inspired the formation of Blue Note Records in 1939. Their success led to a decade long boogie woogie craze [1] with big band swing treatments by Tommy Dorsey, Will Bradley, and others; and numerous country boogie and early rock 'n' roll songs.
Meade "Lux" Lewis continued recording until 1962 and died in an automobile accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1964.
Lewis was mentioned in Chapter 81 of author Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle.


Meade was a very hefty man and played with great energy, to the point that he was legendary in breaking down upright pianos while overcoming them, reducing them to a pile of strings, keys and boards, squeezing his music from then til he could no more. No mechanism left.

As a dabbler in the boogie style, the SRN editor was a devotee of Lewis, and is glad to have this disk he can just pop into the computer, scratches and all, while composing the raccoon news. U Tube has a few antique cuts of him in their latter-day offerings. Here's one:

Raccoonlike; not recondite

Sen. Patrick Leahy, 35 year soldier, tells it like it is, or should be. Thus earns SRN laurel:

"Money cannot buy" Dep't.

How available is that light?

Evidently sufficient unto the exposure, albeit

- I know, I know -

taken with only

a now-antique two (2) pixel Olympus hand-held digital.

Dee busies herself cutting a floral pattern from one of my old wallpaper books to make a greeting card for an ill parishioner. The SRN editor is smitten by the fact that she takes the time in these busy days and ages to do these economical things for "the Congo." It has ever been thus for as long as I've studied her, now over 25 years. Dee learned from her mother, a rural Maryland "waste not and want not"er.

Succeeding generations of Sunday-schoolers learning under Denise in Waukesha WI might not have otherwise received the many tendered scissor-cut careful outlines and hand-made and hand-written designs telling of her love and care. It has not been to save money, necessarily, that she does these things for others with her hands.

Her color sense is as good as or better than what might be instilled by a "higher" tutor.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dix spoon with jello; try to take it; make my day!

this spoon kicked around in a silverware drawer
and in much regular use
at 2009 Clay Street, Cedar Falls Iowa
for years
it was owned by the srn editor's grandparents
but I think it was owned by a preceding Dix family
on other turf in Iowa
maybe my great-grandparents
just a common silver-plate implement
bearing the patina of scratch upon scratch
from clinking against other utensils
day by day, year by year
they gave us each one spoon
as I recall
our unwealthy grandparents
but it would take a winning lottery ticket, if even that
to wrest this appendage from my
non-gun-toting but Charlton Heston-like
uncold hand
note handle is inscribed with "Dix" amidst the many nix

Yes, that is the road you can see through the rusted floorboards.....

one of these once owned by the mother of my first two children,
3 who camped with two dogs, two cats, much gear, and whose taste has never wavered

What in creation?

Need we say:
to read
enlarge by clicking on
provided by a professional Hubble-ite
& starman