Saturday, October 29, 2016

Windmill excursions; Endangered; Sampson, prize gorilla of Milw. Co. Zoo, dead; Other endangerments

Last Sunday we took another drive to Appleton
to hear our daughter Erin's Vento Winds orchestra concert.

This time we were driving her former Ford Fusion, a new car
for the Lincoln-locked, replacing the 1996 Town Car
that was expiring, though with heart of steel.

Still.  Alas, along with rust.

This low mileage 2008 model offers ever so much better
gasoline mileage.

At last Dee has a reasonable and practical
transport, the sort of car she has always been
much better suited to, but she drove our only car, 
the Lincoln way longer than we should have had it.

We sold it to a local garage owner and all-round
mechanic who could repair the many pending
mechanical needs,
and indeed has now done so.

So instead of the noble machine's likely
ending as a crunched cube in a scrap yard
it has received some added life

though the abysmal rusting out of the body
that got away from us when I was sick
signals cube-time on the horizon,
maybe soon, but the good news is ~ not just now.

Added life for the faithful servant.

John Wiesenthal, mechanic/buyer removes the old YIBAWE plates.
Look John up on the net.  He's a good man.

YIBAWEan history:

Dee and new car, at Culver's.


Top of page:

Our drive in the new Fusion took us through
the wind turbine farms along Hy 41.
Past Held's sausage.

We were into windpower many years ago.

Here you see the little man playing - thanks to harnessed
wind on Arcadian Ave - his banjo.
And stomping his foot.

The stronger the breeze, the faster he strummed and stomped.
The windmill blades were recycled metal Venetian blind
blades cut and tapered to size.

The figure and more delicate parts were fashioned
with a tin snip from old cake tins belonging to my grandmother.

The mechanism once blew down the street
during a windstorm.  Badly dented, nay, broken
yet it has been kept 
as a curiosity and is here
at the Odd Fellows hall as I type.

It is a talisman, a connection with a former time.

A newer model sprung up on a supposed wind-proofed
6 inch square beam,

See the wooden top cap.  That was specially made
with the right bearings for me by a friend, Mel Stark.

Even the 6 x 6 that held the weathervane
went the way of eventual unstoppable rot.  Blew over in another wind.

Even so, good old Mel Stark of the Congo
took the bent pieces and straightened them.
Also took an old dresser I'd stored for years
in the garage, and beautifully refinished it.

Mel has that windmill 
- for which he'd made the original finial bearings -
yet in service in his Northview Ave 'back 40'
where it still tells the truth as to wind
speed and direction.

I have the finial and part of the unrotted pole here with me/us.

I temporarily laid out the license plates on the floor.
Four YIBAWE plates from our car and truck
with Erin's two numeral plates off the Fusion.



(and this whiff of humor, albeit in a zoo enclosure)


On Zoos, 1981
Letter to Editor, Milw. Journal

For easier reading
we've divided this letter to the 1981 Milw. Journal
into two sections - direct your cursor up and down for a complete

First and third portion

  Second portion


Other endangerments
I have known

Ragtime’s Testicles

We had a cat who was a male
Whose habits and wants none could assail
Except in his dotage he’d flagrantly pee
In places inside where we’d smell, and then see

The vet said of that he could be easily fixed
By neutering him that scourge would be nixed
So I took him in and had the job done
And I told the vet I had a request, only one

That he save the testes in a small glass jar
For me to take home;  would not carry’t too far
They were to be sure Ragtime’s prized possessions
And I thought that to save them might stay any questions

Thus I placed in the ice box Ragtime’s yellow-gray orbs
In a small screw-top jar midst the food of all sorts
And with time in the way of fridges everywhere galore
The little jar got forgotten;  I knew it no more

I married Dee later, and she liked to clean
She tackled my icebox, threw out many things mean
But my sauces and condiments if questioned got left
For me to not lose so I’d be not bereft

Besides, the mystery jar took so little room
And didn’t look mouldy, formeldahyded safely from gloom
The contents looked like something that I might want to keep
So Dee, a good saver, said not a peep

Years later my father visited and in accord with his habit
Required a martini; he’d make it and have it
The gin and the vermouth were there in plain sight
But no garnishments, like olives, cheered  him that terrible night

He made do through searching, built a drink I’d have banned
And joined us in the living room, bare toothpicks in hand
And his brow it was furrowed as his lips he did smack
Saying, “Boy, your cocktail onions a wallop do pack!”

“They have a certain gristle I’m not used to having,
And the flavour, though pungent, I’d probably be halving;
How long have you had them?”  Though with dawning great dread
I said, “The cat that they came from is dead!”

[David Dix 4-18-2004]

Martini-drinking Dad


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blind trust; Shakespeare Sonnet 73; Bear Ice; Desk away from my 10-16; A word a day; Wrong


Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold
by William Shakespeare

Listen Online

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consumed with that which it was nourish’ d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

"Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold" by William Shakespeare. Public Domain


Very old dictionary
a family treasure

A Great Bear

white, like the ice he seeks
stands atop his diminishing islet 
forlorn, growling

These pieces of wettening ice
broken, crashing loose
from shore ledges giving way
are bits of floating terra-infirma

Polar bears  jump from them,
 swim to them
to reach their prey,

to fatten for the coming leaner weather.

This method of hunting,
theirs from time immemorial
lessens year by year

The swims grow longer
sometimes exhausting;
the bear howls his WHY?

Something is changing!

dzd 10-21-16

and for Alaskan footage:


Away from desk -
Raccoon News happens here;
all-purpose 2 X 4 table
in The Odd Fellows


with Anu Garg


(TRUHM-puh-ree) png>

1. Something showy but worthless.
2. Nonsense or rubbish.
3. Deceit; fraud; trickery.

From French tromper (to deceive). Earliest documented use: 1481.

“The room was crowded with a chilly miscellany of knick-knacks 
and ornaments, gewgaws, and trumpery of every kind.”
Leo Bruce; Case for Three Detectives; Academy Chicago; 1980.

“History, made up as it is of so much trumpery, treachery, and tyranny,
 needs deeds of valor, of sacrifice, and of heroism if it is to be palatable.”
The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond
 Zenith Press; 2014.

See more usage examples of trumpery in Vocabulary.comdictionary.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

True Grit; Standard plumbing; Servants



Note:  left to right:

Union Jack flag
Two Trump flags
Illuminated 'Back the Badge' sign in yard
American flag
Don't Tread on Me flag
and not shown ~
sign in the front yard - 'Hillary for prison' 


Midnight in Paris, great movie, great music

If it comes on in the middle, roll bar back to start.


Standard Plumbing

Plumbing supply places, like auto parts stores,
 have long counters with bar stools
 for the customers. When I came in, the
man behind the counter was telling a story
 about the time he
and his friends had decided to celebrate
 getting home from
Vietnam and had bought a lot of Scotch
 and given one bottle to
a wino who drank half of it all at once
and dropped dead.
Then the man, with Walter stitched on his shirt,
asked what he could do for me and I told him
I had come to buy a toilet, the
cheapest, most basic toilet they had.
 He wanted to know if I
was putting it in one of my apartments or something
and I said
no, it was for my own house and I was,
oddly enough, buying a toilet for the first time
because we were installing indoor
plumbing. The other houses I’d lived in
had always come with
toilets and I’d never given much thought
to choosing one,
though today I’d kind of decided I wanted
bone, not white. So,
in the process of getting the bowl
and the tank and the seat and
some pipes and gaskets from the warehouse,
we got to talking
about our outhouses and he allowed as how
the one he had in Florida
when he was kid in the fifties
hadn’t been all that
bad, except for the bugs and sometimes
a snake, and we both
agreed that there are times out there
when you see things from
an unusual vantage, for instance:
that view of the night sky in
winter is unparalleled.

"Standard Plumbing" by Marie Harris, from
  Weasel in the Turkey Pen.
© Hanging Loose Press, 1993

The reading of the above - Standard Plumbing - 
reminded me  of something  on the general topic  
I wrote in 1980:

Orduration by moonlight

I am sitting on a chrome kitchen chair
from which I've removed the seat.
I've wound rags around the metal
so that my bare skin will not stick to the chrome,  
remembering once when I was a child
that I made the adhesive mistake of touching
my lower lip to the bare cold steel of my sled.

I am sitting on this chair that I've carried from 
the cabin
into the snowy back yard because it is winter and
the indoor plumbing has been discontinued 
for the season.

I have just arrived in the woods after driving the 
230 miles from Milwaukee after work 
to spend another contemplative
weekend out of the city, out of the polluted air
away from the struggling masses, an army to which
I unwillingly belong.
This is the place that refreshes my spirit
and offers sanctuary.

Tonight I am especially struck by the profound silence
in the woods.  It is always quiet here, but now,
in the middle of the night with no sounds on the road
and no wind, I can hear nothing but the pulse in my ears
and the little unwinding, clicking sounds of my close-by
cooling VW engine.
 A distant owl sounds its call.  Because there is 
nothing else,it is clarion.  

I look up.  The sweeping sky is cloudless and full of stars.
Lacking the inverted bowl of city gases
this northern crystal vantage offers
a clear look into the heavens.
The Milky Way shines overhead like
a loose band of sparkling diamonds.

From piney horizon to piney horizon
there are bright gems against back velvet.

In the east, through the woods
I see a quartering moon on the rise.
It furnishes enough reflected light for me
to note a row of forming icicles 
from melting snow on the sloping back roof.
Some of them will reach the ground.
I know that soon, after the blaze I have set
in the pot-belly stove spreads its heat.
There will be additional configurations
and occasional dripping sounds will issue
outside my bedroom window tonight
as I sleep.

About four inches of fresh snow are on the roof.

To my left stands what is left of an outhouse.
The deceased homesteaders who built it
couldn't have guessed that the rough boards
they nailed there would interest a sojourner
sufficiently, years later, to bring a careful pinch bar
to the by-then frail repository.
The dissembled outhouse is now the paneling
in the living room of the cabin.

It was a promotion for wood that faithfully 
stood a rude watch long enough.  Wood that
sustained the weathering of the years,
coats and coats of dissimilar paints
and the apparently frequent shotgun blasts
of passing hunter fools.

It all shows graphically and beautifully,
the wrenching history, the B-B shot marks,
the gradual mouldering,
the time spent out here in the back yard
with a lean-to and a shed.
Now the noble slats hold forth in a milieu
where people still read
and do things of a more pleasant nature.
The outhouse had paid its dues.

I sit listening.  The wind has commenced since
I chose my random spot to tarry.
Snow from the branches of some near-by pines
is dislodged and I hear it land with a whoof.

Some particles drift toward me.
I feel them as they land on my bare thighs and face.
I open my mouth and taste the flakes.   Purity.
Time passes.

Standing, I prepare to leave my starry observatory,
chair in hand.

The owl repeats its interrogatory:  WHOOOO?
It seems a more insistent question at this closer range,
and a good one, too.
Along with what and where and why and how.

All questions I have pondered 
and will continue to mull here 
in the northern clearer land.

[dzd 1980]



In college I read about Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton
and I thought of their great minds and their long dresses
and their gilded friendships which involved tea
in the library or on the lawn. I thought of the places
they traveled and the weight of their trunks
and all the ways their marriages did or did not
please them. I thought of the dogs that followed
at their heels and the rooms and gardens they
decorated and the beaches where they
carried umbrellas. But I never once thought of
their servants. I didn’t think of the cook who
woke up to make the fires of morning or the maids
who stood over a pot of hot soap, stirring the day.
I did not think of how someone dressed them
and scrubbed their floors, how someone
brought their dinner on a tray. It was years before
I knew they had them at all: invisible, unremembered,
people who gave their lives to drudgery. Now I
can barely write or finish a book for all the housework
and errands, now I think of them: knocking dust
from the curtains, carrying the rugs outside
each spring so they could beat them with a broom.

"Servants" by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2015

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Happy autumn; Charles Blow of NYT; Around a long time; Ms. Congeniality; Cat pictures; Cont'd Zepata

Donald Trump: Terroristic Man-Toddler


Miss Congeniality

1920's style gas protector

Been around a long time


More KD Cat

KD flattened

With visitor

With Jack-O

Licks chops in a blur

Does her Halloween dance


With Wis Guthrie's dirt god

Company! at ease!


Simon's cat


Stormy weather

bronze horse by Bart Walter, Maryland

Instalment VI

The expected storm arrives
Just before dawn
Zepata and Irena
Pull the tarp down upon them
It was either that or have it blown away
So high were the winds

This pattern was a frik
Zepata say to Irena
He nevair see one like
Cyclonic winds seem to blow
Around and around the mountain

A stream-rinsed red union suit
Hanging on a makeshift line blew off
Only to return fifteen minutes later
From the opposite direction
It had traveled around the mountain
In the whirling wind

Daylight slowly comes
But the rain and crying wind does not let up
El Dayo appears at their active
Bundle of tarp and he sounds
His battle call
Zepata and Irena look out from inside
Their waterproof canvas
 Cocoon of love

Raising himself again and again
On his powerful hind legs
Dayo gives a primeval stallion battle cry
At the sky daring it to strike
Him with lightning
His bulging eyes blazing

Zeus himself might refrain
From hurling a bolt at such a
For fear El Dayo would catch it
In his frothing gaping maw
And hurl it back

Zepata calls out to the drenched
Issy Boy issy
Go get Mare
We liff in half an hour

Soon Dayo and Mare
stand waiting
And the terrible storm
Finally relents
Zepata checks the dynamite

Eet is try he proclaims
And with Irena breaks camp
Vowing never to forget that storm
 The jump-started Mexican saviour
Ponders its portent

Now mud is their greatest danger
It is too risky to ride
So Zepata and Irena walk
Beside their mounts
All morning they descend
In this way

In the early afternoon
They discover that the storm
Did not happen at the lower
It had been a mountaintop
Electric cyclone only
Like nobody ever saw before

Zepata thinks it must
Have been a sight to see
From down below
And indeed the compadres
Had often looked up from their campsite
And thought of Zepata and Irena
And offered prayers for their safekeeping

The waters that had rushed
Down the mountain
Were torrential
And the air had taken on
A charged crispness
Following the high winds
That had swirled through
The compadres' tentative repose

Zepata who was a simple
Indian with cause and effect
Thought patterns at root
Divined the storm had been
Stirred by the pro-creative
Exhibited by humans and horses
In the night

After all, he mused
If a little Zepata or Irena
Was being conceived
Or a foal to match or even
Exceed Dayo and Mare's
Powerful exhuberances
Should it not storm?

These were all natural things
To the mind of Zepata
For himself he knew
That the inflammations
Stirred by Irena and her axle oil
Produced energy that not even
He could fully combust

Try as he might
He thought as he watched
Her riding ahead of him
Here was an exciting fuel
That could never be burned

Irena possessed a life force
That commenced as female
Gateway of life physiology
That which every woman has
But in Irena's instance
A bellows of only guessed-at origin
Had blown her womanly propensities

Into a conflagration whose
Raging flames licked
The highest clouds
Changing weather patterns

The Indians knew
The northern lights were caused
By a woman such as this

In the north there was such a woman
And  in other parts
Of the world
Rainmakers, storm-causers
Interacting with mighty men
Their powers are released
This is what Zepata believed

How could he not believe it
As he watched Irena's
Buttocks ahead of him
Nudging and shunting
The hand-tooled saddle
He had rubbed to smoothness himself
And presented to his Real Woman

It must be time for siesta
He mused
Irena felt his eyes upon her
And she smiled without turning

[dzd  7-23-98]