Friday, September 30, 2011

Torn from corner of a placemat at chinese restaurant

With boars on my mind, when I spied this Chinese advisory on my placemat at Ching Hwa's yesterday, I tore that corner off and stuck it in my pocket.
It seems the boar's portents aren't too bad.

I, however, was born in the year of the R-A-T.

STAND! by me


and you may remember this one:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Church committee meets at old Odd Fellows hall

Dee hosts the First Congregational UCC Outreach committee at the former rollicking ground of the Waukesha Odd Fellows lodge.

On Tuesday eve, 7-27-11, the flexibility of the group was evident in their being willing, nay, anxious to convene their church business here and also walk the creaky floors with ghosts of Oddness past.

There will be more on the Raccoon News' Odd Fellows site in an upcoming posting here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Freya (Lady) The Norse goddess of love and fertility

Freya was the daughter of the Vanir god Njord and the sister of Frey. Freya came to Asgard with her brother and father after the Aesir/Vanir War ended in an eternal peace treaty. Freya’s home in Asgard was in the region known as Folkvangr in a hall named Sessrumnir.

Freya was married to Od, but this mysterious character (whose name means “roamer”) disappeared. Freya was said to roam the Earth looking for him and shedding tears that turned to pure gold. Freya and Od had a daughter named Hnossa, which means “jewel.” Freya was exceedingly beautiful, and many fell in love with her, including giants, dwarfs, and humans.Like most of the Vanir, Freya had a talent for witchcraft.

It is said that when she came to Asgard, she instructed the gods in the magical arts of Seid.Freya also had a warlike side and shared Odin’s love of battle. It is said that she and Odin divided the slain human heroes between them so that some went to Odin’s Valhalla while others went to Sessrumnir.

Freya's boar, the gold-bristled Hildisvini, was a symbol of war. Its name means “Battle Boar.”Freya possessed a boar chariot and a chariot pulled by two gray or black cats. She also had a falcon skin that she sometimes donned to fly away. She lent the falcon skin to Loki, the trickster god, in the stories “Idunn’s Apples” and “The Theft of Thor’s Hammer”.

Her most precious possession was the Brisinga men.Freya, Ottar, and the Giantess HyndlaFreya, goddess of love and fertility, was loved by many, including the human male Ottar. In the Lay of Hyndla from the Poetic Edda, Freya transforms Ottar into the shape of her boar, Hildisvini, and visits the giantess Hyndla in her cave. Hyndla is a powerful seeress. Freya cajoles and bullies Hyndla into telling Ottar all about his ancestors from far back so he may win a wager with another mortal.

In Viking times, it was very important to know one’s lineage; proof of it was often used to settle disputes over land and other property. One of Ottar’s ancestors turned out to be sigurd, the hero of the Volsunga Saga, so he was sure to win his bet.Once Hyndla had finished reciting the list of Ottar’s ancestors, she wanted to leave Freya and her “boar.” Freya used witchcraft to persuade Hyndla to brew some “memory beer” for Ottar, so he would remember every detail of what Hyndla had told him. Freya caused flames to dance around the giantess until she gave Ottar the brew.

Freya and the Golden Necklace

Freya had an enormous greed for gold and jewelry of all kinds. One day she went to the cave of the black dwarfs Alfrigg, Berling, Dvalin, and Grerr. These master craftsmen had made a golden necklace of outstanding beauty. Freya knew at once that she would do anything to get the necklace that the dwarfs called the Brisinga men.She offered the dwarfs gold and silver, but as Dvalin pointed out, they already had all the precious metals and gems of the underworld for the taking. Freya began to weep golden tears.

At last Dvalin said they would give her the necklace if she would agree to spend a day and a night with each of the dwarfs. Freya was so overcome with greed that she gave herself to the company of the four ugly little creatures for four days and four nights. When she went back to her palace at Folkvangr, she was wearing the Brisinga men around her neck.Now Loki, the mischief maker, had followed Freya to Svartalfheim, the home of the dwarfs, and had seen everything that had happened. He ran to tell Odin. Odin was furious when he heard the story. He asked Loki to take the necklace from Freya and bring it to him.

Loki had a hard time getting into Freya’s sleeping chamber at Sessrumnir, her palace, for all the doors and windows were tightly shut. At last the shapeshifter turned himself into a small fly and entered the room through a hole as small as a needle’s eye. Loki saw that Freya was wearing the necklace around her neck, with the clasp underneath her so he could not reach it. Never at a loss, Loki turned himself into a flea and bit the goddess on her cheek. She turned restlessly in her sleep and exposed the clasp. Quickly Loki turned back into his own shape, removed the necklace, unlocked the door, and crept out.

When Freya discovered her loss, she ran to Odin and told her story, weeping bitterly. Cold with anger at Freya’s tale of greed and lust, Odin said he would retrieve the jewel for her only if she would agree to stir up a terrible war between two powerful chieftains on Earth. He demanded killing and bloodshed. Afterward Freya should bring the slain heroes back to life. Freya willingly agreed to the terms, for like Odin, she had the gift of sorcery and a lust for battle and heroes. Then Odin sent for Heimdall, the watchman of the gods, and told him to go after Loki and bring back Freya’s trinket.

Loki turned himself into a seal and swam to a rock near Singastein, but a moment later Heimdall, too, had become a seal. The two fought a fierce battle. In the end Heimdall, with the necklace in his hand, led the dripping Loki out of the water and back to Odin.The story of the Brisinga men is from the 10th century skaldic poem Husdrapa and the Sorla Thattr, found in the 14th-century manuscript Flateyjarbok (Book of the Flat Island ).

Langweile ich sie ingesamt?

From Wikipedia

Behaviour/social structure

Young wild boar.

Adult males are usually solitary outside of the breeding season, but females and their offspring (both sub-adult males and females) live in groups called sounders. Sounders typically number around 20 animals, although groups of over 50 have been seen, and will consist of 2 to 3 sows; one of which will be the dominant female. Group structure changes with the coming and going of farrowing females, the migration of maturing males (usually when they reach around 20 months) and the arrival of unrelated sexually active males.

Two wild boars in the snow.

Wild boar are situationallycrepuscular ornocturnal, foraging in early morning and late afternoon or at night, but resting for periods during both night and day.[1]They are omnivorousscavengers, eating almost anything they come across, including grass, nuts, berries, carrion, roots, tubers,refuse,[12] insects and small reptiles. Wild boar in Australia are also known to be predators of young deer and lambs.[13]

If surprised or cornered, a boar (particularly a sow with her piglets) can and will defend itself and its young with intense vigor.[14] The male lowers its head, charges, and then slashes upward with his tusks. The female, whose tusks are not visible, charges with her head up, mouth wide, and bites. Such attacks are not often fatal to humans, but may result in severe trauma, dismemberment, or blood loss.


Bronze letter opener, Germany circa 1945

The letter opener was owned originally by Field Marshal H. Goering.
It is now owned by the raccoon news
and can be seen by app't at
308 South St.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Beautifully stacked wood pile
introduces flakes of sweat,
not snow,
not yet....

Seen through the front door
a new and efficient fireplace
to centrally heat the rolicking
& rolling abode.

Cindy Helt practices her winter hoola-hoop?
Archival photo






Inside Occupy Wall Street

By Danny Schechter, Reader Supported News

25 September 11

Reader Supported News | Perspective

RSN Special Coverage: Occupy Wall Street

A report from a front that may soon be shut down.

efore you read on, watch this: a video from the base camp of the #OccupyWallStreet protest that is now in its seventh day. It's called "Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution." (The video was produced by Martyna Starosta and her friend Iva.)

These are the faces of a wannabe revolution, more than a protest but not yet quite a major Movement. The spirit is infectious, perhaps because of the sincerity of the participants and their obvious commitment to their ideals.

Occupy Wall Street is more than a protest; it is as much an exercise in building a leaderless, bottom-up resistance community with a more democratic approach to challenging the system where everyone is encouraged to have a say.

But saying that also leads to a conflict between my emotional identification with the kids that have rallied in this small park/public space on Liberty Street to exercise some liberty, with a despairing analysis that wishes this enterprise well but harbors deep doubts about its staying power and impact.

This privately-owned park, devastated by debris on 9/11 and then rebuilt by a real estate magnate who named it after himself, is also a place that is under 24-hour surveillance from a hostile New York City Police Department which has put up a fence on one side of the park, brought down a spy tower from Times Square to track the participants from on high, and sprinkled infiltrators into the crowd.

By the time I left, late on Saturday afternoon, the police had arrested 70 people who had joined a march that went from Wall Street to Union Square, New York's traditional gathering place for political rallies for nearly l00 years.

You can watch it all on a live stream.

In many ways this is a 2011-style protest modeled after Tahrir Square in Cairo. It is non-violent, organized around what's called a "General Assembly" where the community meets daily to debate its political direction and discuss how it sees itself. There are no formal leaders or spokespeople, no written-down political agenda and no shared demands. They focus on using social media. Twitter is their megaphone.

They have no sound system. When participants want to make an announcement, they yell "Mic Check," which is repeated by the whole crowd. They also repeat the announcement a few words at a time so everyone can hear it.

This bottom-up anarchist sensibility and ideology conflicts with the mass mobilizations of old where an organization issues a call and a coalition of groups carries it out.

I ran into some of yesterday's movement leaders: Leslie Cagan, who ran United for Peace and Justice and organized the massive anti-Iraq War protests and marches in New York and Washington before and after. She was as intrigued as I was about this gathering of the committed. She found the focus a bit vague, but seemed willing to give it a chance to grow and learn by making its own mistakes.

Other 60s activists like Aron Kay, known as the "pie man" for all the famous and infamous people he pied in the face to protest their crimes and misdemeanors - including Andy Warhol for dining with the Shah of Iran - was also showing his solidarity by turning up and squatting in the park.

Lower Manhattan on a Saturday is usually a Mosque-less Mecca for tourists visiting Ground Zero, a crime scene if there ever was one. It is a symbol of a national failure to defend this country as well.

It's also the place where the 911 Truth Movement shares its findings weekly with visitors about what "really happened."

Just a few blocks away is another crime scene: Wall Street, which symbolizes an ongoing economic failure. In this past week, access has been limited and in this free country of ours protestors could not parade in front of the NY Stock Exchange, another privately-run financial institution. That led Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog to opine, "I'm beginning to wonder whether the right to assemble is effectively dead in the US."

Many banks like Chase doubled their security forces and put up fences to protect themselves from the people the NY media hve labeled "kids and ageing hippies."

The panic in the exchange is mirrored in the insecurity in the streets where surveillance cameras, private police forces and NY cops defend the bastions of privilege.

The police went on the offensive Saturday with mass arrests of activists. Scott Galindez filed this report on Reader Supported News, "While the live feeds were up I witnessed a very powerful arrest of a law student whose parents were recently evicted from their home. He dropped to his knees and gave an impassioned plea for the American people to wake up! There are reports of police kettling protesters with a big orange net, at least five maced, and police using tasers."

There were also reports of the use of mace, tear gas and pepper spray which hit two old women. We are so used to these storm-trooper tactics that most expect them. There had been fewer arrests last week, although the police seem to now have identified key organizers and are singling them out.

On Saturday, police gave out a notice saying that it is now illegal to sleep in the park. They then put up a sign on a park wall. I watched a member of the police command, a "white shirt" named Timoney, march into the park and gruffly order the communications team that spends most of its time tweeting out the latest news to take down some large umbrellas the activists were using to protect their computers from rain.

The police consider these "structures" and prohibit them. Earlier in the week, they arrested people for using tarps to protect their gear. (They don't see the irony in that term given the way the TARP law bailed out the banksters.)

Many of the people in the park believe the end may be coming with the police eager to end what they see as a Woodstock on Wall Street, complete with topless teens and long-haired militants. This assemblage clearly affects their macho Identity as upholders of law and order as they define it. The probably agree with the right-wing Red State website that calls the protesters a "menagerie."

I wouldn't rule out mass arrests once a provocation, theirs or the protesters', provides the pretext.

Will the Occupy Wall Street collectives be able to continue to occupy a zone that has been occupied for years by the greedsters of the finance world?

More importantly, will the issues they are trying to draw attention to, however symbolically, be taken up by others?

Will it take more cracked heads, or even a police killing, to move New Yorkers to support a campaign to rein in Wall Street?

Where are the unions and New York's progressive democrats and organizations? Why aren't they in the streets?

Why don't they realize that economic justice issues are essential to transforming this oligarch-driven country?

I have been calling for years for more protests on Wall Street to put the issues of Wall Street crime on the agenda. But with media barely covering this "occupation," with the activists being denigrated for their youth and inexperience, will this one have the impact I was hoping for?

It seems unlikely.

News News Dissector Danny Schechter directed "Plunder: The Crime of Our Time," and wrote a companion book about the financial crisis as a crime story ( You may contact him

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And a little child shall lead them


Sent to the raccoon news by our brother, Leslie V. Dix II


Birds, cont'd


courtesy of Laura Brien

Heaven is a wonderful place

"I want to go there...."

Erin and Lee, wee,
sang this song
one day
in chawtch

(Thanks to Dr. Helt for this photo)

The old soft-shoe (I never could do)

Thanks for the memories

Video clip tendered by Dr. Bentz
St Louis MO

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Birds, cont'd

A flamingo now nests on the ledge by our South Street desk, under the skylight where yesterday’s crow tentatively strode slidingly on the plexiglass.

In the 1980s the flamingo surveyed the back-yard in its original form on the upper deck at 517 Arcadian. It was before 1986 when the bughouse was built. See below.

Alas, as fate would have it, the yardbird eventually had its neck shatteringly broken. Not willing to part with this faded pink artifact, presented to us already old in the 70s by Tom Light of Sequim WA, we therefore took the flamingo head and attached it to two interlocking gourds, grown at the Arcadian address.

In mixed media now, it finds rest in 2011 at the renewed Odd Fellows hall. The 'flung' flamingo roosts on a fleece-covered cottage cheese container. Flightless, it sports nevertheless a pair of leathern wings.

(FLung, FLamingo, FLeece, FLightless)

More on birds

A flamingo now
nests on the ledge by our desk under the skylight where yesterday's crow strode tentatively.
In the 1980s the flamingo reposed in its original form on the upper deck rail at 517, back in the pre-bughouse (1986) days. See below.

Alas, it eventually had its neck broken. Not wanting to part with this artifact presented to us in the 70s by friend Tom Light of Sequim WA, we took that flamingo head and wedded it to two interlocking gourds grown at the Arcadian Ave address.

In mixed media now, it rests at the Odd Fellows hall in its semi-plasticity roosting on a fleece-covered cottage cheese container. Symbolically flightless, it sports a pair of flappable leather wings.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sneaky downtown denizens


Just this very morning, at 8:30
noisy crows scratched on our skylight
but were unable to gain purchase
on the dome-ed plexiglass.
Safe, for a time.
Beneath us, raccoons
expand their burrows in the sewers
leading out from their lodge hall
in the darkness under
the old post office.
On the streets, other zanes obtain.
But we fear naught
for we live appropriately enough
in a former Odd Fellows hall.
In ghostly numbers, safety.

Class warfare? Recall!

Images come to mind

When hearing of the


Voicing travail

Over the far less


Sensing unfairness

And daring to speak up

About it.

The little scrill


Swimming upstream

And into waiting


Some blame the prey

Who fatten


For their lumbering


Monday, September 19, 2011

I operated this thing

No. 1, patented Oct. 12, 1897

A dusty device among the souvenirs
appeared here, once from the kitchen possessions
of our great-grandparents, the Wildgrubes,
on their farm near Sheboygan WI

In the days before electric food processors,
muscle power turned that crank
over and over,
over and over.......

grinding chunks of mean meat
into hamburger,
or miscellaneous pig lips and choice snouts
and etcetera into sausage stuffing.

No home was without one,
no estates were without banks of them
for the domestics to churn,
sweat added to the mix.

What's that you say?
You've sort of been through a meat-grinder?
A ramming spiral shaft pushed
and mashed your being through, particle-ized?

You babes born for better things,
innocent lambs.
on Wisconsin farms and boardrooms?

Laid low in school-houses
or factories
To be fresh-ground,
meat in conservative markets?

It is not without blood.
"Times change,
and with them,


Ruth Elies and mother Anna Wildgrube

Friday, September 16, 2011

always wanted
to do

With love
Mr. Grandpa Dix