Monday, October 31, 2011

It is W-O-O-O-O..........

Dee holds Kin San at a pumpkin farm
where Kin's reluctance to get over-friendly
with a turkey is noted.
(old photo from the Burmese days)

Day of the Dead
observed at the Odd Fellows.
Two skeletal figures acquired at
the old Market Place
on E. North Ave near the water tower
are brought out each Nov. 1 & 2.

We are currently reading the book
on which the skeletal waitress

Lucky two dollar bill presented last week by
Rev. Leroy
is suitably mounted and stands next
to the mantle clock.
Note Day of the Dead shadow box
in lower left corner
where it reposes in a pigeon hole
above the desk.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Here's news for cat lovers and Gov. Walker disdainers

The Sewer Raccoon News just got the 2012 calendar we ordered, shown above.
Compiled and published by Katherine Moffat and John Deweerd of the Nebraskans for Peace, the cover cat is Minou. Photos of members' cats are submitted for selection for the annual calendar, in publication since 1984.

John and Katherine are avid photographers and cat lovers. We ordered our calendar by phone (402#) and were pleased by the non-industrial and homey feel of their effort, as gleaned over the telephone.

c/o Nebraskans for Peace
PO Box 83466
Lincoln NE 68501-3466

Tel: 402.475.4620
Toll free: 877.778.3434
Cost with shipping $10.95

We also picked a copy of the Shepherd Express yesterday.
The coffee bistro STEAMING CUP is where we get our free copy of this unique and in this case right on publication.

Check it out.

We also recommend the SC's iced-herbal tea with cranberry.

Friday, October 28, 2011

David Dix II
thanks The Great Spirit
- and the sun -
for another great day

(in Door County, Peninsula State Park)

He will trek with me soon to St. Paul's church in Hubertus
to survey the solar work augmenting
John Helt's mission
pastoring that church on its historic journey.

I will show him where the solar panels are
just over the crest of the hill on the other side
of the churchyard
where the remains of St. Paul's past members
are anything but disturbed
by the buried energy cable running carefully though
their midst in the ancient cemetery

symbolically lending their bones
as the sun's pathway.

Received from son David
this clip today
Speaking of bones lending
help to human effort;
great spirit:

The Rev


We had breakfast across the street at Dave's this morning with a long-lost friend, Rev. Leroy (Napieralski).

We got to calling him REV. Leroy during the Flip Wilson days. It is now shortened to 'The Rev' which is how Leroy identifies himself when he calls.

This time, after a few years of no contact I sent the Rev a post card, and he called me that same day. It was yesterday. So we made arrangements to meet at Dave's Cafe today at 7 AM.

During the course of our reminiscences dating back to the 1960s when we met through his parents, Leona and Eugene Napieralski, Leroy and I exchanged affectionate gazes. Seems his folks were having me decorate their new house in the 1960s on Northview Road near Meadowbrook.

It was then that I convinced the Sr. Napieralskis to invest in a stuffed fox I had in my inventory of accessories. This was to become FESTOON FOX, and he has followed us to the current address. When Eugene passed, he directed the Rev to return the fox to me.

We have Festoon C-clamped to the loft ledge - about three feet from where I work at this computer - and he is lit up with clear Christmas tree bulbs visible from the street below.

Today, after we finished breakfast we strolled over here and I showed Leroy our new digs, including Festoon, still holding forth.

Leroy is a one of a kind friend. He's been holding onto an insurance paper he wanted me to witness, and presented it for my signature today. He said he's been meaning to call me for months to take care of this rather urgent business.

The Rev mentioned in our discussion of the tattoo parlor and art gallery down Main St . where Wis Guthrie just had an exhibit with Wis's son, that he - the Rev - has a tattoo.

I had him display it up here in the Odd Fellows, and we captured a photo. Leroy regards it as serious and significant as a personal native American artifact. His expression conveys his feeling.

The Rev had a breakfast of pancake and sausage patties which I bought. Wanting to do something to help me out, he presented me with a $2.00 dollar bill, a lucky note that he asked me not to spend unless necessary.

It will be thumb-tacked to the wall over this desk.

I expect to be seeing a lot more of the Rev, who I uncharacteristically hugged when he began to descend the stairs to his car three floors below.

About a month ago I decided to get a picture light for the oil we've had knocking around with us for about 40 years. I inherited it from my step-father, John Hale.
I'd never examined the back of it before, but this time when I got it down from our dining room wall I read the back of the painting. It was titled 'HOG HOUSE' and signed by the artist, Don Ringstrom of Gatlinburg TN. Dated 1973. That's about when he started painting.

I went to the computer and looked this Don Ringstrom up. I found him, still in Gatlinburg. He answered the phone, a most personable chap, and we talked for at least an hour.

He was indeed, he said, influenced by Andrew Wyeth at that period of his painting life. I'd remarked that I was always reminded of Wyeth's Christina's World in Ringstrom's painting. The austerity and desolation of the scene solidly struck our fancy these several years.

Mr. Ringstrom, though retired, is still painting.

It is peculiar to me that I never checked the back of the work before, for the provenance.

Taken from the internet:

(RINGSTROM, DON Hog House artist

Spoke at length to him 10-6-11)

Since 1974, Don Ringstrom has owned and operated his gallery on East Parkway, just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There he features his original watercolors and limited-edition, signed and numbered prints of the Smokies and surrounding area. Don has been painting for about 40 years and, though he now sells almost exclusively through his Gatlinburg gallery, in the past his watercolors have been carried by numerous galleries including Merrill Chase Galleries of Chicago. Rod's Guide Magazine is proud to display several of his works here and they are for sale through our Southern Highlands Gallery on-line catalog.

Don Ringstrom Gallery:
1400 East Parkway, Suite 5
Post Office Box 663
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
(423) 436-9226

Thursday, October 27, 2011

la atenciĆ³n de Brasil Brue

Ivete Sangalo
Ah, my Brazilian friend
here comes Ivete

The energy and color of your county's performing artists
the vocal and personal beauty,
the syncopation, the grand participation of the crowds,
the rhythms and multi-parts at once,
the pounding blood......


Not just for Amish


the congregationalistical way

To look the other way when encountering

One you do not wish to see

To man the buffets with selective eyes

On those who pass before you

When in the corridors or stairs, not

Noticing certain people

To prefer to interact with those

Mostly of your own economic

Or philosophic strata

"No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey. No matter what, you are welcome here."

We all say it, but it's hard to do it.

hot soup

I made a soup yesterday that would have pleased my dad.

He liked his soup served hot

and spicy hot.

This was not a complicated soup,

but hot

and spicy hot.

I took a box of staple

Mrs. Grasse's chicken flavored

and added one freshly purchased

farmers market chile

ground up in a mortar and pestle.

I took care to wash my fingers

after handling

and quickly washed the tools;

I boiled the soup box contents

in the four cups of water

with the chile particles

floating red on top,

and stirred......

Later I served it to Dee.

She struggled swallowing the

mixture, and finally begged to

change to some of her potato soup.

She did that

but the hot chicken soup stuck

to the edges of the bowl

- she failed to rinse it –

and made a hot impression on her

even so.

At my age

with dulling taste buds

I quaffed the soup hurriedly

able not just to stand it

but to really like it.

In such enactments we keep

alive the memory of

Leslie Vernon Dix

who piloted a jitney

and drank hot soup

in Cedar Falls, Iowa

and later in Germany trenches

boiled his soup in a helmet.

One dire time the soup was flavored

with a gun-shot rat.......

It's the birthday of the poet Sylvia Plath (books by this author), born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932. She went to Smith, and while she was there she struggled with bipolar disease, she attempted suicide, but she made it through and won a Fulbright Scholarship to England. And in England she met another poet, Ted Hughes, and they got married. She published her first book of poems, Colossus (1960), and gave birth to two kids. She wrote the poems in Colossus slowly, deliberately, and constantly looked up words in her beloved thesaurus. But then her husband left her for another woman, her depression came back in force, and that winter after he left she wrote almost all the poems that would eventually become the book Ariel. She was seized with creative energy, and she wrote feverishly, sometimes completing several poems in just a few hours before her kids woke up.

In 1963, she published a novel, The Bell Jar, and two weeks later she committed suicide. She had only published one book of poetry during her life, but she had written enough poems to fill three more books, which were all published after she died, including Ariel (1965),whichwas filled with personal poems about marriage, motherhood, and depression. The poems in Ariel are usually considered Sylvia Plath's best work—poems like "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus."

Lady Lazarus

by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.

One year in every ten

I manage it--

A sort of walking miracle, my skin

Bright as a Nazi lampshade,

My right foot

A paperweight,

My face a featureless, fine

Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin

O my enemy.

Do I terrify?--

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?

The sour breath

Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh

The grave cave ate will be

At home on me

And I a smiling woman.

I am only thirty.

And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.

What a trash

To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.

The peanut-crunching crowd

Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot--

The big strip tease.

Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands

My knees.

I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.

The first time it happened I was ten.

It was an accident.

The second time I meant

To last it out and not come back at all.

I rocked shut

As a seashell.

They had to call and call

And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.


Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.

I do it so it feels real.

I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.

It's easy enough to do it and stay put.

It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day

To the same place, the same face, the same brute

Amused shout:

'A miracle!'

That knocks me out.

There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge

For the hearing of my heart--

It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge

For a word or a touch

Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.

So, so, Herr Doktor.

So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,

I am your valuable,

The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.

I turn and burn.

Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash--

You poke and stir.

Flesh, bone, there is nothing there--

A cake of soap,

A wedding ring,

A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer



Out of the ash

I rise with my red hair

And I eat men like air.

23-29 October 1962

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Brand new key?

I've got a (brand new) pair of roller skates,
- pencil sharpener -
you've got a (brand new key)
powerful vote.......

We've got an antique pencil sharpener
(see US Automatic 1907)


Time passes.
More appropriate heir of Ted Kennedy's seat?
Watch out, Scott Brown?
(SRN, just saying)

By Samuel P. Jacobs, The Daily Beast

25 October 11


The Harvard professor has spooked the right. As she begins her high-profile Senate campaign against GOP star Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the consumer advocate tells Samuel P. Jacobs how she created 'much of the intellectual foundation' for the Occupy Wall Street movement. She also talks about her past life as a Republican and the challenges of being a woman on the campaign trail - and says she's no 'guileless Marxist.'

lizabeth Warren is running for office in the most high-profile race in the country not involving Barack Obama. It's a position that calls for some tact. So what does she think about the Occupy Wall Street protests that are roiling the country?

"I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do," she says. "I support what they do."

Warren's boast isn't bluster: As a professor of commercial law at Harvard and the force behind Obama's consumer-protection bureau, Warren has been one of the most articulate voices challenging the excesses of Wall Street. Still, she enjoys an outsize celebrity for an academic and bureaucrat: a favorite guest of Jon Stewart, Warren, 62, has become a hero to the left, a villain to the right, and a fascination for everyone in between. Now that she is challenging Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown, she has emerged this year as a poster child for what some of America loves, and an increasing swath of America hates, about the president.

No one else has Warren's gift to send the right into a sputtering frenzy.

She is, in the words of former Reagan operative Jeffrey Lord, "a guileless, fevered Marxist." George Will put it more primly, but with the same sense of trepidation. Warren, he wrote, "clarifies the liberal project and the stakes of contemporary politics. The project is to dilute the concept of individualism." Warren likely didn't calm those fears by attending a fundraiser hosted by George Soros - the billionaire bogeyman of the right - in Manhattan last week.

Thanks to her service in Washington, overseeing money distributed to woozy banks and creating a consumer financial protection agency, Warren is feared as somebody out to soak the rich and redistribute wealth. But a look at her biography reveals that she's not the hardened leftist some suspect. Here's Warren's challenge: Most first-time candidates for office struggle to create a compelling story about themselves. Warren has a different problem. She has to un-make one.

For all those quaking on the right at the sight of an ascendant Warren, rest easy. Warren's no lefty. In fact, Warren was a registered Republican into her 40s. When it comes to ideology, Warren makes for a rotten heir to Kennedy.

"I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets. I think that is not true anymore," Warren says. "I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role."

Did she vote for Ronald Reagan, who ushered in much of the financial deregulation which Warren has devoted her life to stopping? "I'm not going to talk about who I voted for," she says.

It wasn't until later in life, when Warren was 46, that she had her political awakening. At the time, she was serving on a committee recommending changes to the nation's bankruptcy laws. Until then, Warren says, "I said, ‘No, no, no, not for me on the politics.' "

Warren decided then, in 1995, she could no longer retreat into the ivory tower. "I can't just leave this to people who are going to wreck the lives of millions of American families if they get the chance," she says. "I waded in."

Warren adds that she voted for both Republicans and Democrats and thought that neither party deserved to dominate. "There should be some Republicans and some Democrats," she says. Brown's campaign could make the same point. In a state dominated by Democrats, it might help to have a Republican providing some healthy opposition.

Warren's political sympathies are as much a product of upbringing as anything else. Born on the worn-down side of Norman, Oklahoma, young Betsy Herring grew up in a home that clung to the bottom of the middle class. She had pluck, taking her babysitting earnings to pay for application fees to two colleges where she thought she might have a chance at a debating scholarship. At 19, Herring married NASA engineer Jim Warren, her childhood sweetheart. A decade later, she was a divorced, mother of two, starting out a career as a junior law professor in Houston.

Starting in 1979, Warren embarked on influential, decades-long research of what causes families to go bankrupt. By 1992, Harvard Law School asked her to join the faculty. At that time, only five of 60 tenured professors were women. Three years later, Warren agreed to teach there permanently. The offer was a rich one. In 1996, Warren was the third-highest compensated employee at the university. Warren and her husband now live in a $1.7 million Cambridge home. The candidate who is accused of instigating class warfare seems like she has stepped out of a Horatio Alger story.

Still, you don't need to look at Warren's biography to realize that conservatives' fears are misplaced. Warren's studies have centered on debt, in particular the stress that the modern workplace puts on families. In The Two-Income Trap, her 2003 book, Warren argued that two-income families are less financially secure than families with a single earner. "Her complaints on behalf of the middle class sound positively Nixonian," Christopher Caldwell wrote this summer in the Weekly Standard (where "Nixonian" can be a compliment). Go ahead and find another Democrat, particularly one who makes liberals swoon, being called a "closet conservative" as a compliment.

For a proudly progressive state, Massachusetts has an embarrassing record of voting women into office. Only one of 10 members of the Massachusetts delegation in the House is a woman (and she was married to a U.S. senator). The commonwealth has never elected a woman governor or senator. It sits in the bottom half of states in terms of female representation in the state legislature. And then there was the epic 2010 flameout of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost Kennedy's Senate seat to Brown.

"The word's out: I'm a woman," Warren says, "and I'm going to have trouble backing off on that. I am what I am. I'll go out and talk to people about what's happening to their families, and when I do that, I'm a mother. I'm a grandmother." Visiting a toy store in Salem, Mass., earlier this month, Warren played up her femininity, gushing about her 11-month-old grandson, Atticus. "The hardest part of being around this kid," she said, "is that he has the most delicious-looking toes."

The collision of politics, gender, and sexuality can be a nasty one for female candidates. Just ask Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin. Warren's brother, David Herring, unprompted, told me, "She is not a lesbian. I think I read that. That was comical." (Warren is married to Harvard Law professor Bruce Mann.) The example of a female authority figure still seems to scramble the male brain.

Warren's looks are causing some men to pay extra attention - including Brown. When quizzed by a student at a candidates' debate in early October about how she paid for college, Warren grinned and said, "I kept my clothes on." Brown's response? "Thank God." Brown famously did take his clothes off to help pay his tuition, posing nude forCosmopolitan in 1982. "She was joking. I was joking," Brown later said. Not everyone is so disparaging. One man who Warren encountered in Salem asked why she hadn't returned his email messages after an encounter on an airplane. "I was hitting on you," the man clarified.

For fans, Warren's charm offensive has risks too. They don't want her to stop hitting back.

"Maybe she should kick more sand in their eyes," says admirer Eliot Spitzer. "Maybe she should rough them up a little more."


+41# Buddha 2011-10-25 19:10
Given my long-time disgust at how corrupt and corporatocratic our politicians are of both parties, I have never given to a political party or a candidate's campaign. I will be, for the first time in my life, actually giving a sizable donation to a candidate, Elizabeth Warren, and I don't even live in Massachusetts! If more of our politicians were like Warren, as aware of the issues, educated and intelligent, with a moral base where helping the least fortunate is the top goal, our nation wouldn't be in the dire straights it currently finds itself...and the Occupy Protests wouldn't be as necessary...
+20# abeitling 2011-10-25 19:37
I too like Warren. She strikes me as being strong, ethically fair minded and intelligent. I wish her well.