Saturday, September 24, 2016

Welding; Being happy; On my shoulder; Sankt Gallen; Wis; Lee, WHS drum team captain; Men of the cathedral; Tak rip

Ticket to ride
been waiting a long time

Dino-unicorn rides here
at the Waukesha Odd Fellows
~ just you wait and see ~

[Vulcan Weathervanes sculpture 1970s
from MATC industrial oxy-welding class; instructor
told us to make something out of our
cutting exercise scraps.  I took mine home to finish,
being in it for the art]



Of course it was doomed. I know that now,
but it ended so quickly, and I was young.
I hardly remember that summer in Seattle—
except for her. The city seems just a rainy backdrop.
From the moment I first saw her at the office
I was hooked. I started visiting her floor.
I couldn’t work unless I caught a glimpse of her.
Once we exchanged glances, but we never spoke.
Then at a party we found ourselves alone.
We started kissing and ended up in bed.
We talked all night. She claimed she had liked me
secretly for months. I wonder now if that was true.
Two weeks later her father had a heart attack.
While she was in Chicago, they shut down our division.
I was never one for writing letters.
On the phone we had less to say each time.
And that was it—just those two breathless weeks,
then years of mild regret and intermittent speculation.
Being happy is mostly like that. You don’t see it up close.
You recognize it later from the ache of memory.
And you can’t recapture it. You only get to choose
whether to remember or forget, whether to feel remorse
or nothing at all. Maybe it wasn’t really love.
But who can tell when nothing deeper ever came along?
“Being Happy” by Dana Gioia from 99 Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2016.



If this does not start at the very beginning
dial it back all the way to the left, to the Start.
As shown, the green arrow below:


and this


Annual Mens' Club picnic

It was 2012
Men and women young and old
gathered in the church parking lot

Wis, foreground, is picnicking elsewhere
this year.

Will not be the same without you.


Waukesha South
former Drum line captain
Lee Dix

Lee ascends to full YIBAWEan status 7-3-16


Great men of the Washington Cathedral
Col. Leslie Dix took us to his church
many times when we visited Wash DC.

In this immediate family he was the original

Homage has been paid often ( recently by Bruce and Lisa Hopper of Waukesha WI) 
at his gravesite in Arlington Cemetery. Democrats, Republicans, Independents :)


KD reposes live on her throne

Our daughter in Alaska
a nearly lifelong resident there
just had to put her beloved dog, Tak
to rest. 
The raccoon sent condolences and
this 1999 poem, death of a pet remorse:

To Max the Cat
1988 – 1999

In an age of many things blackened
Your missing blackness no more cattening
Our rooms and halls, our souls are slackened
Max, we loved you, we gently lay you down.

I live some miles from where you rest
But you are here right now
On my mourning mind
As I feel your lumpen weight on my reclining chest,
And if pall bearers there would have been,
I would have been one for you,
My feline, too.

You were not just a good cat (pass me that wine!)
You were a great cat
A cavernous black hole you’ve left in my heart
And in the hearts of our friends, mine and yours
On the Helt farm,
An address to which your beloved bones
We forever consign, and as at Arlington
Guard and mind in perpetuity
Or till we too have moved on

We know where that dark well is,
where your shell is,
and when I visit that little grave- site
I am going to lay myself down on it,
Out of
Out of Africa
Might I?

You never asked me when the table was turned
But I could have shooed you away
And now I’m glad I never did.
I’ll be wet- eyed as now I am
And sigh:  Max, Max, Max, why do we die?
You wanted to no more than I

Or Buddy, or Maggie, your surviving cats
In the house gone dry,
Save for tears of unsuccessful searching
Now that you are no longer in it

Who upon our chests will lie
And make such a weighty thing of it?
We thought you were good for fifteen years
you got eleven;
Much is wrong with our world
Though you are in your heaven

And, I don’t want to “recover” from your loss
It’s made me frankly cross, and blue
You showed your trust, no part of you did you withhold
You brought us gamey socks
And tolerated moods of many hues

You did your darndest to talk to us
Now we withhold nothing in ever remembering you;
Your gamboling gamble of a life may be over
You may have been but “an animal”
Yes, but never to us

Dear Max, we send you our best
We loved you, we gently lay you down.

[David Dix]

Laurie answered back:

Thank you Dad. I always commiserate pretty hard when this happens to others, too.
I'm now waking up to my first Tak-less morning. I dreaded this part a lot. 
"Tak" means thank you in Norwegian. It's a thank-less morning.
So, my kitty, Paul Anka is my Jesus-with-fur-on. She slept all night under my bed covers, right by my stomach, my soul. "Thank you".

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Eddie Condon reprise; Duo-chromatique; Cthulhu; A standing; S'wonderful; Remarkable table




Stephen King Compares Donald Trump To Cthulhu; Cthulhu Issues Angry Denial

The Great Old One objects to being compared to the GOP presidential candidate.

 09/13/2016 01:53 am ET
[from The Huffington Post]


What An Interesting Soapbox

It looks granulated
Like a pile of sawdust
Oh yes, I took a chain saw to my standing

Then how does it support you
In your mountings?
I saturated the sweepings with epoxy

So latter-day chemistry
Saved your candidacy?
It would appear so

Then whence does your backbone
Derive its stiffening?
From a red, white or blue Argo box

You appear electable
Yes, the hardware and laundry
departments put it all together for me

[D. Zep Dix 2002 ]

Something beautiful now:


A remarkable table

KD goes on the table
and has the gall to lay down
right next to the NO-NO mister
until we pick it up to spray her
then she hastily departs.

Original notebook draft
carved in tabletop when our children 
were little.
They grew up with it
and it still serves us at the Odd Fellows now.
A sumptuous dinner was served on this time-worn table night before last.
The menu in our downtown locus of the Odd Fellows hall
was eggplant parmesan with a spaghetti side
and the dessert was a home-baked apple pie.

How could we resist this eggplant at the Waukesha farmers market?

Dee's pies!
This apple pie made of apples from our daughter Erin's in-law's orchard
go check it out
a step into the past.
Best apples and cider
and remember ~ 'Money Cannot Buy'
the Raccoon's endorsement

Best apple pie I've ever EVER had!

Around this (all-purpose) table, wax and wane...


Slow march to this:

or this version


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Old friends; Sunny; Round redounds; Gourds; Sept. marching band; Another old friend and Lee's birthday; Try to remember

Two grey beards

Bob Heeschen and Zoey

S/A Heeschen, former 113th CIC group agent
takes his retired greyhound Zoey
out for her daily walk in a nearby St. Paul. MN woods.

We'd asked Bob recently for a current picture of Zoey.

He promptly complied.  This Email exchange ensued:

Play while reading ~

"There she is, Zoey in the car ready to walk.
I have a "stick" but so far it does not work my phone.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID"


Thanks Bob raccooned for sure

Why the muzzle-like collar?

That is called a Gentle Leader.  For walking it lets you control the dog without pulling on their neck as a choke collar does.  This turns their head where you want it.  Zoey will really pull if the lead is just attached to the collar and the GL works well.  It was developed by a U of MN veterinarian.  With it on, she will usually "heel" easily.  And she could eat or drink if necessary.  Or bite me (which has never happened).

Bob Heeschen

Should have mentioned that tomorrow will be the three year anniversary of Zoey moving into my house and heart.

Bob Heeschen



Future Plans
by Kate Barnes

Listen Online

When I am an old, old woman I may very well be
living all alone like many another before me
and I rather look forward to the day when I shall have
a tumbledown house on a hill top and behave
just as I wish to. No more need to be proud—
at the tag end of life one is at last allowed
to be answerable to no one. Then I shall wear
a shapeless felt hat clapped on over my white hair,
sneakers with holes for the toes, and a ragged dress.
My house shall be always in a deep-drifted mess,
my overgrown garden a jungle. I shall keep a crew
of cats and dogs, with perhaps a goat or two
for my agate-eyed familiars. And what delight
I shall take in the vagaries of day and night,
in the wind in the branches, in the rain on the roof!
I shall toss like an old leaf, weather-mad, without reproof.
I’ll wake when I please, and when I please I shall doze;
whatever I think, I shall say; and I suppose
that with such a habit of speech I’ll be let well alone
to mumble plain truth like an old dog with a bare bone.

"Future Plans" by Kate Barnes from Where the Deer Were. © David R. Godine, 1994



Everything about Sunny was colorful:

She lived in beauty, and was beauty
Her walk upon this earth was light,
Her voice was soft, and she was the brightness
Of the dome of stars on a northern cloudless night!
Set your garden sundial by her, and be right.

She did not tread, she glided,
Crushing nothing and no one
In her impish winged rounds
From flower to flower, ‘shroom to ‘shroom
And in her house from room to room
She barely disturbed dust with a broom.

It’s the kind of girl she was, no doubt,
‘tis the way her nature is; naught
But Norm would bawl her out,
And even curmudgeonly he
Had a love of her, as choppy and deep
As the sea.

With woodland spirits she had some valuable

I used to think she was witchen –
So many odd things in her kitchen;
divining locations of hidden treats,
vaporizing in the the damp of deep woods weeds
and coming back with edibles
from her known bounds and metes.

She was never lost in her labyrinthine heart and mind,
Sunny was honey for Norm’s internment,
A particular grandma who brought discernment
While being extraordinarily – mystically – able
To set great food and such upon her table.

By David Zep Dix 4-9-1999

Her famous quote:
“You’re not going to throw away that perfectly good snake,
are you?”  uttered graciously in Pembine WI 1973
She was given farmer Hertig’s dispatched snake
hanging over a barb wife fence line
and cooked it up for our supper…..



Is it a sign of being civilized
To live in spaces that always have an angle
Squares and rectangles
Cornering us in the dust
When all uncivilized simple creatures
Around the globe
- Under the dome of heaven -
Live in tepees, igloos, round or oval nests
Without reservation
The choice is automatically made
Make it round;
:"We'll have what nature's having."
Why our angular fixation then when
Our own preliminarily-cultured children
Given their first crayon will draw
Instinctive curves and ovals
Nothing in nature is straight
We use our squares, plumbs, transits,
And snapped chalk lines to get it straight
We need straight to build high; but not nature
Nature is round
Even a squirrel outside my window
Chewed a near-perfect circle enlargement
In a gourd filled with bird-feed
He'd squeezed through my smaller
Bird-sized hole but it was a tight fit
So while I secretly watched him
He went around my circle all the way
So I wouldn't notice what he'd done?
He could have hacked a jagged opening
Any shape to gain access to the seed
But he carefully widened my circle
I think this wasn't really a squirrel squirrel
It was an Indian squirrel
Or an Esquimaux squirrel
A spirit squirrel from another world
Following an instinctive blueprint
And I sat in my square room
Looking out my square window, amazed
And roundly amused
[Zep 6-11-00]

Northern Dipper Gourds, Canada

The Raccoon gets the free E subcription of this site
and recommends it to any people who love gourds
as do we, or wants perhaps to be inspired to grow them.

Go to

Northern Dipper Gourds


A greafully published RERUN:


Gourd vines unfurl on the trellis
So fast now that a pulse is nearly felt
at the growth tips

Little buds that will be flowers
emerge from nothing
Up the wire mesh go the vines
a rung or two at a time

and the tendrils wave
and writhe in air
seeking purchase
Wire to bend

Finding something to grab onto
they kink up
in tight spirals
like octopus tentacles

Twelve plants started from seed
in my south window sill indoors
fragile they were and now

They have enough
collective force to produce
a bin of future horns, rattles
bowls and dippers

or to make good on a sci-fi
and do me in
I will not turn my back on them

At night through the open
bedroom window I hear them
muscling their way toward me

I could have stopped them once
but now they have
harnessed the sun
and they want to grow
all over me

I have to make a run past
this trellis in the morning
when I go to work
They might snatch an arm or pantleg

but I close the door on
the offending tentacles
and back down the drive
a struggle between an auto
engine and photosynthesis

So far the car always wins
and the tendril ends whimper
when their connexions to the mother vine
and come bungeeing back
at the windshield

Neighbor's pets
have begun to disappear
 The vines have a way
of beckoning innocently
like a benign cobra

You have to stare at them
and  you want
to move in for a closer look
because you are curious
aren't you?


[David Zep Dix 2001]


The High School Band in September
by Reed Whittemore

Listen Online

On warm days in September the high school band
Is up with the birds and marches along our street,
Boom boom,
To a field where it goes boom boom until eight forty-five
When it marches, as in the old rhyme, back, boom boom,
To its study halls, leaving our street
Empty except for the leaves that descend to no drum
And lie still.
In September
A great many high school bands beat a great many drums,
And the silences after their partings are very deep.
"The High School Band in September" by Reed Whittemore from The Past, The Future, The Present. © The University of Arkansas Press, 1990


This Shining Moment in the Now
by David Budbill

Listen Online

When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house—all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold…
when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees…
when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind…
when I am only here and now and nowhere else—then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.

"This Shining Moment in the Now" by David Budbill from While We've Still Got Feet. © Copper Canyon Press, 2012


Another old friend
a cactus
has been with us for many years
bought from a lady at the farmers market
who delivered it and

is after a long period of seeming dormancy
apparently liking its present new location
in the window under KD Kat's jungle gym
step-ladder it


Cacti stand for resilience
will take long periods
of uncareful treatment
and will survive

What's happening today?
on son Leland's birthday