Saturday, April 27, 2013

One meat ball; Umberto's moon; Just what......

you have to be of a certain

Wis Guthrie turned to me
the other day
and asked if I

Of course I did.
Wasn't I around in the 1940s
when that was the title
of a popular song?

Wis, once a rider of rails,
worker for the CCC
son of a preacher father of 9
a father who thanked

the lucky stars
or The Great Spirit
for a rabbit that 'fell' from
the clutches of a hawk

at his feet 
walking home with his hoe
from his job as a farm laborer
without food for dinner 'til then:

Wis remembers
one meat ball.
Oh yes,

and a lot more.


For full vimeo, play:

From Robert Heeschen, RR museum docent, St Paul MN
AKA:  Umberto (code name)
former special agent, 113th CIC Corps

Full moon over Wellington, NZ...
 Here is something a bit random, but none-the-less astounding. A (source, not) work mate of mine who is also a photographer captured what is, to me, one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen filmed. 
It is a 3 minute video clip of the full moon rising over Wellington.  It was shot 2 nights ago, on a calm summer evening, as people gathered on the Mt. Victoria Lookout point to watch the moon rise.
This stunning video is one single real-time shot, with no manipulation whatsoever.  The camera was placed on  a hillside over 2 kilometres from the Lookout point, and was shot with the equivalent of a 1300mm lens.
The amount of planning, trial and error, and luck that went into this are mind blowing.  He has been trying to capture this for over a year with many failed attempts.  But 2 nights ago it seems everything was on his side, and it all came together in a way even he couldn't have hoped.
I honestly can't say enough good things about this video - from the magnitude of the visuals, to the intimate stories playing out with the people, to the sheer humbling nature of seeing the awe-inspiring reality of this giant rock in the sky that we so often don't stop to appreciate.

PS:  3rd round object:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fox Run; Slim Whitman; Courageous senators; Landfillharmonic; Tips on pumping gas

Attn Waukeshans:  Put this in your FOX RUN pipes and smoke it.

The Undeniable Pressure of Existence

(Courtesy of Garrison Keillor's WRITERS ALMANAC - get it free, we start each day with it)

I saw the fox running by the side of the road
past the turned-away brick faces of the condominiums
past the Citco gas station with its line of cars and trucks
and he ran, limping, gaunt, matted dull haired
past Jim's Pizza, past the Wash-O-Mat,
past the Thai Garden, his sides heaving like bellows
and he kept running to where the interstate
crossed the state road and he reached it and he ran on
under the underpass and beyond it past the perfect
rows of split-levels, their identical driveways
their brookless and forestless yards,
and from my moving car, I watched him,
helpless to do anything to help him, certain he was beyond
any aid, any desire to save him, and he ran loping on,
far out of his element, sick, panting, starving,
his eyes fixed on some point ahead of him,
some possible salvation
in all this hopelessness, that only he could see.

"The Undeniable Pressure of Existence" by Patricia Fargnoli, from Duties of the Spirit. © Tupelo Press, 2005


    The other night I was looking up a song title on Utube to go with an Email I was sending to New Jersey friend and raccoon source, Tom Bentz.  I wanted to thank Tom for sending some Jonathan Winters material, and the song title I Remember You came to mind. PLAY Certainly I remember the recently deceased comedian but I hadn't seen the obituary or sorts that Winter's student, Robin Williams had written, which is what Tom sent.

    When I was selecting which cut of the Remember Yous I went to the old rendition of Slim Whitman.  Now there was a name I'd forgotten, but as I played the tune, memories of my childhood blossoming music appreciation came washing over me.  Whitman's falsetto, I did remember that.  I remembered him after those opening bars of the song.  Then later I went to Wikipedia and read up on Whitman and now know more than I ever did about this once well-known and record-setting as well as just record making man.

    In those cocoonish early music days of mine, I heard Rudy Valley with his megaphone-singing, Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy......................


April 18, 2013

Courageous Senators Stand Up to American People

  • WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In the halls of the United States Senate, dozens of Senators congratulated themselves today for having what one of them called “the courage and grit to stand up to the overwhelming wishes of the American people.”
    “We kept hearing, again and again, that ninety per cent of the American people wanted us to vote a certain way,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). “Well, at the end of the day, we decided that we weren’t going to cave in to that kind of special-interest group.”
    “It was a gut check, for sure, but we had to draw a line in the sand,” agreed Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S. Carolina). “If we had voted the way the American people wanted us to, it would have sent the message that we’re here in Washington to be nothing more than their elected representatives.”
    Calling yesterday’s Senate action “a bipartisan effort,” Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) said, “This proves that on a matter that affects the safety of every man, woman, and child in the nation, we can reach across the aisle to defy the interests of all of them.”
    Senator McConnell agreed that yesterday’s vote “sent a powerful message,” adding, “If the American people think that just because they voted us into office and pay our salaries, benefits, and pensions, we are somehow obliged to listen to them, they are sorely mistaken.” 





    For more info go to


    He rec'd from a CA friend

    Buying Gas The Smart Way .

    I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:
    Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose , CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.
    Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.
    A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.
    When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.
    One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.
    Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.
    To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do.
    I'm sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)...and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers !!!!!!! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted!


    Saturday, April 13, 2013

    Optical illusion from Wis Guthrie; Sorry, Dave; Gallery of flags; Guns; Pancakes

    Clothes make the (wo) man
    sent to the raccoon from Wis at the Avalon

    Artists Wis and son Jim are busy constructing Guitartown II, their second effort, to be ready in June.



    All-American restaurant
    is a gallery of flags
    front to back
    called Dady (sic) Oh's
    where we went for lunch today.
    We like the decor and the food.
    Picture shot from our back booth


    From Sunday Review section, NY Times 4-7-13


    Some readers will remember this paean to Wern Farms Game Farm
    that first appeared in LANDMARK quarterly
    the publication of the Waukesha Historical Society:

    Columnist Frank Bruni had an article in the same section of the Times
    last Sunday on the subject of shooting birds on game farms.
    See the following:

    Here is the above text in more readable font:

    Frank Bruni

    Day of the Hunter

    People who rhapsodize about the glory of hunting never mention what an unfair fight it is.

    Or was, in my case.  I went last week, for the first time, visiting a bird hunting grounds in Pennsylvania with two companions.  The pheasants and partridges there had wings, which gave them one advantage over us. Over them we had something like 50 advantages:  the number of shells for our shotguns.  The gun on loan to me, a semiautomatic, could fire three rounds in rapid succession, which seemed to me as many as anybody could want or need before reloading.  I’m a lousy aim, and I still killed.

    I had never used a firearm before, not even on a shooting range, and understood the allure instantly.  My 12-gauge semi was black, sleek elegant, and Italian-made, as much an accessory as an instrument of death.  The Vinci, it’s named, as in Leonardo da, the “Rennaisance inventor, artist and thinker who shattered the technological boundaries of his world,” according to the website of the manufacturer, Benelli.  This is how thoroughly a weapon can be romanticized and fetishized, as if it were a Rolex, as if it were a shoe.

    Holding it, I felt potent.  But also anxious, even panicked, with a new grasp of how much could go wrong.  The safety on the Vinci is a small, gray button, and the difference between on and off is perhaps a quarter-inch.  In a moment’s distraction, I could mistake one for the other.  In a burst of adrenaline, I could deactivate the safety too soon before a shot or wait too long after to reactivate it.

    I could forget, when not aiming at a bird, to keep the gun pointed toward the sky or the ground. Or my pivot when I followed a bird’s flight could bring one of my companions, so perilously near me, into my sights.  I was haunted by this and by the fact that although I was a first-timer, I needed no background check, no training, no proof of any dexterity to hold this shotgun and squeeze its trigger, not on the kind of regulated hunting grounds (called a preserve) that we went to.  This country of ours makes it astonishingly easy for people to arm themselves and take aim. Is it any wonder that we have an exceptional harvest of gun-related injuries and deaths, many accidental?

    I went hunting mainly for dinner. A few weeks ago I was in a favorite Manhattan restaurant, Tertulia, and its chef, Seamus  Mullen, mentioned that he had been shooting and cooking game birds. I said that I had never eaten anything I’d killed myself, and had never acknowledged, in that way, the connection between an animal’s death and my nourishment and pleasure.  We agreed that I should join him in his next expedition.
    An experience of hunting made ethical sense.

    Political sense, too. Hunting is always coming up when the country is debating new restrictions on firearms, as we are now. Opponents of such basic gun-control measures as universal background checks and an assault weapons ban talk of slippery slopes and raise the specter of parents’ being unable to lend shotguns to their children for a wholesome duck or deer hunt. They assert the importance to hunters of certain semiautomatics that might be prohibited.

    Hunting enthusiasts recently went as far as advocating a boycott of Colorado because the state had passed some entirely reasonable new gun restrictions. There’s this assiduously orchestrated outcry that a primal, virile, broadly beloved American pastime is under dire siege from disconnected lawmakers. 

    And it’s hooey. Let’s take the broadly beloved part first. The popularity of hunting has generally declined over the past four decades. According to a survey by the Fish and Wildlife Service, only 13.7 million Americans 16 or older hunted in 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available. That’s in a country of more than 313 million people.

    In Pennsylvania, the number of people interested enough  in hunting to get licenses  dropped from 1.2 million in the 1980s to about 930,000 now, according to Joe Neville, a spokesman for the game commission.  And fewer than half of those people are such committed hunters that they renew their licenses regularly.

    Hunters are already governed by a thicket of state and local regulations about whether they can use a rifle or a shotun in a certain place, for a certain quarry;  about how many bullets or shells it can hold;  about when they can hunt;  about how much, or even what gender, of a creature they can kill.  Any tinkering that new federal measures would do is so puny in contrast as to be almost irrelevant. It’s not going to threaten hunting as we know it. 

    And hunting as it’s done doesn’t always hew to the man-in-nature images often promoted.  Paul Ryan with his bow and arrow is one kind of hunter;  a klutz like me with my Vinci loafer – I mean shotgun – is another.

    The pheasants and chukar partidges, or chukars that I was after had been scattered across a stretch of property so that Seamus, a friend of his and I could chase them down.  That’s how preserves work.  The birds are raised there, and some are released from their pens just before the hunt.

    Pennsylvania has more than 300 bird preserves, including the one where we hunted.  Pheasant Hill Birds, in Honesdale. For about $325, its owner released 20 pheasants and chukars.  For another $60, he lent us his Brittany spaniel, Red, to find and flush out the birds.  Red was Advantage No. 51.

    Advantage No. 52:  many of the birds weren’t so quick to use their wings.  We would be within inches of one of them before it fluttered skyward, and it would be maybe 20 feet away when one of us took our shot, which wasn’t a single bullet bur rather – Advantage No. 53 – a scattering of pellets.

    If we missed a bird, it tended to land close enough to be flushed out anew.  Only three birds actually fled the area and escaped death.

    All of that explains how even I managed to down a chukar. Maybe a pheasant as well:  it was sometimes hard to tell whose shot had hit what.

    And there was a thrill to it, no question.  My heart hammered.  My curiosity spiked.  Will a dinner of these birds – gutted, cleaned and cooked by Seamus, thankfully – be different from another?  On my blog next week, I’ll let you know.

    I’d hunt again, though I’m in no rush. It was impossible for me not to be nervous around guns, even with Seamus patiently teaching me and repeatedly urging vigilance.

    He’s 38 and has hunted on and off since his teens.  I asked him if more stringent gun control would cramp his and other hunters’ style.

    “A totally bogus argument,” he said without hesitation or elaboration, then he flitted to a topic that accommodated more disagreement.  How should the pheasant be prepared?


    was held Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in the church basement.

    As reported before
    it was a fine affair.

    We walked through the torrential rain and wind from the Odd Fellows hall to take up our work as a pourer of coffee
    at 3:30, a half-hour ahead of the start time.  Our perambulating stroll the three blocks to the landmark church had us grasping with two hands the 'bed canopy' golf umbrella to keep it from turning itself inside out in the heavy wind.
    People in cars at Barstow and South stared. A smile lurked beneath the strugglous expression we wore.

     We made it.  And the umbrella is back in service as our bed canopy.

    (A parenthetic digression; a repeat:)

    What we did:

    Strung a clothesline
    to hold big umbrella
     above head of bed
     shielding  eyes from glare of skylight high above;
    put one end of rope over top rung
     of free-standing stepladder (no nails);
    counter-weighted that end of clothesline
    with an old hand sledge hammer
    to allow narrow angle of ladder-lean
    to prevent ladder tipping over into the room;
    tied other end onto a C-clamp screwed onto
    a shelf board resting on loft stair landing ledge 
    (again no nails);
    the resting shelf is secured only on the
    right end, with one small but firm screw hole neatly drilled.


    Some photos of this year's pancake festival:

    Traditionalists Sid Estenik and Jack Mathie,
    members of long note, handle ticket sales at the
    top of the stairs.  Bathed in stained glass, they are ready
    for the onslaught of local pancake connoisseurs.

    Bruce Boeck holds the key job of mastering the batter mix.
    This is a sensitive task, for which Bruce is well-qualified.
    Behind him lurk the grill flippers, beginning  a long evening of single-tasking.

    Interesting, colorful local fellow, Bill Huelsman,
    who many years ago came to the Congregational church
    at the invite of his then land-lady, Beulah Brockway,
    enjoys freeing his mind at the old and faithful griddle.
    He controls the size of the pancakes by triggering the
    batter hopper kept full by mixer Bruce.  And he adjusts the flame
    beneath the turning griddle.

    The evening of pancakes begins as the hall fills up.
    At this table early Congo-ite George Love finds a seat
    with grand-daughter Olivia and others not identified or shown.

    Two Waukesha girls attending improvise a patti-cake game.

    Congo member William serves seconds on the pancakes.....


    In this manner, another annual Cong. pancake supper is accomplished.
    Through random shutter-clicks we show only some of the ingredients
    that go into the successful rendering.

    The circle of The Congregational Mens' Club - from creation of pancakes to the serving of same -
    including the planners, car parkers and ticket salesmen, comprises a disparate but convivial assortment, people of various ages and side-proclivities, who together get the job done.  They are backed by a cloud of historic witnesses, some in the ether, and real.

    The Mens Club is helped by industrious women who prepare bakery for the upstairs
    bake sale, and who assist is serving the pancakes, sausages,
    apple-sauce and ice cream. It is a joint effort.

    Part of the secret of this local church lasting 175 years is revealed in this anecdotal report.


    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    Thinking about food; Colored eggs; Bread; Easter lizard-bunny; Daffodils; Two trumpets; Glory; Sigh no more

    (2 ea)
    with salt and course pepper
    bedecked a luncheon plate
    today, at yon Odd Fellows

    Thought we: 
    a lovely yellow!

    Easter morn
    began with a loaf of bread
    I thought had been around
    for a long time
    - too long a time -
    As the loaf peeked from my
    Easter basket
    just the blue part showed
    but then the rest of the rainbow appeared.

    The blue, being at the end of the loaf,
    must have been where the micro-organism
    started, but then, miraculously, the fruiting
    mold turned to vivider colors
    which caused the Easter basketress
    to bring loaf a-home.

    For KD, she chose a tin of exotic kitty food.
    A brand kitty does not usually get.
    An Easter treat is.

    A cadbury treatis was in there, too.

    A french toast was made on Easter
    of the moldy-appearing though colorful bread.

    Our Plowshares-bought lizard
    was fitted with a pair of bunny ears
    by Dee for further decoration.
    [Ref.: ]
      As shown, he
    plays guitar in guitartown
    while dancing on jelly beans.


    At the window, before the downtown rumble,
    a vase of daffodils holds forth in the
    Blenko vase, a yellow, flattened vessel
    with a cobalt blue base
    nicely picking up the City of Waukesha
    Bob Uchner-made city seal hanging above.
    [Several of his replica leaded glass seals rim the gazebo cupola downtown.]

    At the 1st Congregational UCC church
    at Easter morning worship,
    the Redding twins, Morgan and Thomas,
    rehearse the rousing trumpet accompaniment
    with the processing choir:
    Jesus Christ Is Risen Today

    In all my born days
    it was the GLORY-EST Easter service ever!

    To:  A. Nonny Mouse
    our son Leland
    NY elementary teacher and Shakespearian


    William Shakespeare

    "Sigh No More, Ladies..."

    (From "Much Ado about Nothing")
    Sigh no more, ladies, sigh nor more;
    Men were deceivers ever;
    One foot in sea and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never;
    Then sigh not so,
    But let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny;
    Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into. Hey nonny, nonny.
    Sing no more ditties, sing no mo, Or dumps so dull and heavy; The fraud of men was ever so, Since summer first was leavy. Then sigh not so, But let them go, And be you blithe and bonny, Converting all your sounds of woe Into. Hey, nonny, nonny.
    Additional scenes available on the net
    Part 2:
    and more