Monthly Archives: September 2013

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 21 Joey 0002 (April 9, 2013)



The medical procedure to remove the filter inserted in my vein to catch loose clots turned into something of a farce. Arriving at the hospital at 7:30 AM, I was soon stripped of clothing, interviewed at length by hospital security regarding valuables and poked and prodded for various tests. About an hour and a half later following questions from the nurse regarding medications and subsequent discussions with the operating doctor and my primary care physician it was determined that the operating doctor’s instructions to both me and my regular doctor were wrong and that I had to stop taking the meds for at least 24 hours. So I left and returned to my sister’s house.

At 10 AM the next day, the appointment time given to me by the treating physician, I arrived at the hospital and sat in the waiting room for about two hours. No one could explain why I had to wait.

Finally I went through the same various tests and procedures I had gone through the day before. This time for some reason they could not find a working vein for extracting blood for my blood work and for attaching the IV’s. So they explored. At least seven times they inserted the needles into my body and rooted around to find some blood.

The operation itself was anti-climatic taking all of about one minute to dope me up, slice into my neck and remove the filter.

Following the operation, the anesthesiologist showed me the filter. It was about an inch long and equally wide and looked a lot like a metallic spider. She pointed out a clot imbedded among the tines. She also said the she was certain she had seen me before. I assured her that that was unlikely.

Against the doctors orders, I decided to drive directly back to Sacramento. So I picked up Hayden and our luggage at my sister’s house and left.

During the drive I explained to Hayden that he had to make sure I did not fall asleep due to any residual effects of the anesthesia. So we played “What am I thinking.” A game I learned from the Dalls as something they used on long drives to divert their children. At one point, during a lull in the game I mentioned to H. that talking was a good thing to do to keep me awake.

He said:

“In that case, there is something you should know about me. I am really an alien from Cluton sent here by my parents. That is why I act like I do. I have three hearts and five stomaches one of which is dedicated exclusively to digesting fish smoothies. I also have three butts one of which I lost during the Butt Wars which we lost and is why my parents sent me here to earth. I am filled with ‘joy bubbles’ which allow me to float in air or water if I want. You should also know that music makes me crazy.”

With that he turned on the radio to a music station and acted…well crazy until finally and thankfully he shut the radio off.

Who knew?

(A few days later I learned about a television show, Marvin Marvin, about a boy also from Cluton who lives with an American family. Hayden tells me Marvin is his best friend and they arrived from Cluton together.)

Hayden made me promise I would tell no one of his confession because if they learned he was an alien they would send him back to Cluton. I figured that the well-known discretion exhibited by readers of “This and that…” would permit them to fall within the class of no one.

We arrived at the house in El Dorado Hills at about 9PM. I turned the Clutonian over to Dick and put myself to bed.


A Thai Comments on his Society:

Arglit Boonyai, the highly respected and sometimes brilliant columnist for The Bangkok Post, Thailand’s most widely read english language daily newspaper wrote some time ago:

“Thailand – and I am trying to be fair here — is as honest as a North Korean press release on famine. We steal, we cheat, we lie, we treat people with a lower social status badly, we’re racist, the list goes on and on. For years we successfully hid all that behind the famous Thai smile and the ‘mai pen rai’ attitude. And by gosh and by golly, most of those suckers fell for it.”



Dragon’s Breath:

Sam Spade: Everybody has something to conceal.

Chapter Eleven:

While my minder and putative student, the ex-delinquent Joe Vu, drove us off toward the library, I leaned back in my seat and tried to think. As is often the case the first thoughts to enter my mind were about money. In two days I collected almost $5000 dollars for little more effort than taking a shot to the jaw and having to change my clothing.

My second thought was about sex. In most cases it was usually the first. I did not know why it wasn’t that now. It certainly was not Mavis’ fault. The tattooed lady, my client, brought with her a perversity in the bedroom that one usually had to pay for. Still I wondered how much I was going to end up paying anyway.

Finally I got around to the case. What did I know about Holland and Reilly? They were hooked up in something, drugs still remained the most probable, along with Vihn, Mavis and God knows who else. They were missing and a lot of people were looking for them.

People look for other people for three reasons, money, sex or guilt. I don’t think any of the seekers here are feeling particularly guilty about the missing individuals. As for sex, Mavis seems quite able to satisfy herself and does not appear to be the jealous type. And, unless Reilly was shtupping his wife or girlfriend, Martin Vihn’s interest in him on that score made no sense unless he was a finocchio in heat – which I doubt. Whoever was running the Elephant Boys could have had a thing for Mark; extreme but still possible but highly unlikely given everything else that has gone on.

That leaves money. Someone has it and someone else wants it. Extortion seems possible but remote. So that means either Reilly or Holland have the money or information that leads to money and Mavis, Martin Vihn and the mysterious third party think they should have all or part of it. Nothing earth-shattering there or even useful.

I clearly will not get from either Mavis or Martin Vihn much about what the deal that somehow went bad and started all this was all about.

And what about the Two Ton Twins? Who were they working for?

Was someone else involved in the deal or somehow learned of it. On the other hand, maybe Reilly was the Tubby Tots boss and in hiding while for some reason looking for Holland.

Of course none of this really mattered. I was confident Reilly would show up whenever he finished with whatever else he was doing. I could rely on that. Vihn however scared me.

I knew I had to look good to my minder Joe Vu since he will report anything I do to Martin Vihn. That was annoying but probably not too difficult. If I just rooted around a lot and looked like I was working on finding Reilly I figured I could skate by. But what can I do to look like I was doing something? The only person in this mess that I knew about who I had not spoken to was Lilly Park. Meeting with her I decided would be something that would show Vihn I was on the job.

I did not worry about the long-term commitment I made to Vihn. I guessed once Reilly was found Marty would probably not want to continue to keep me on the tab at $1000 a month. Still it was good pay even if it was from a gangster. At least I thought he was a gangster. Even if he were a gangster he couldn’t be much worse that the so-called captain’s of industry that were my ex-law firm’s clients.

I turned to my smiling driver and said, “Joe?”

Joe: “Yeah boss – you finished doing number two now?

Me: “Huh?

Joe: “You know, the thinking thing.”

Me again: “Oh, yeah…uh…Not yet. But I’d like to know – what does Marty do for a living?”

Joe: “Never let him know you called him Marty. He hates that name.”

Me: “I’ll remember that. So what business is Martin Vihn in”

Joe: “You don’t want to know boss. Let’s just say he is in the import-export business.”

Me: “Are drugs part of that import-export business?”

Joe: “You don’t need to know that boss. Is this part of detecting?”

Me: “It is always good to know something about your client.”

Joe: “Believe me you know enough boss. Do you carry a gun? Detectives carry guns don’t they?”

Me surprised: “Not all do. I hate guns. Don’t carry one.”

Joe: “That’s OK.” He then reached over, opened the glove compartment and pulled out a black automatic pistol. “I have one just in case.” He waved it around.

Me shouting: “Shit! Put that back. You could hurt someone.” In fact, the only person I worried about being shot was me. I was always somewhat equivocal about gun control; not really caring who shot who or why – except kids of course. But I figured if a gun was discharged in my vicinity inevitably I would be the one shot. So I was willing to support gun control – not that I did anything about it except sign sidewalk petitions when I had nothing better to do and if there was a good-looking woman pushing the petitions.

Joe laughing: “OK boss.” He put the thing back into the glove compartment. “What are we looking for at the library?”

He had me there. Going to he library was the first thing that came into my mind to say in order to look like I was doing something. I had no idea where to begin looking for Reilly . Said, “I need to use their computers and reference library to begin tracking down Reilly.” That was the best I could come up with. What I really needed somewhere private to call Mavis. I could have gone home but I had no intention of letting Vu know where I lived.

When we arrived at the library I told Vu to drop me off, find a place to park and meet me in the reference room. That would get rid of him for a while and I could call Mavis without him listening in. Maybe I also could slip out of the place without him finding me.

I got out of the car and went into the building.

The new Main Branch of the San Francisco Public library was built about a decade or so ago and touted as one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the world. What that ment was that except for rooms dedicated to each of the more politically sophisticated interest groups at the time it was notably deficient in books on display. These were mostly locked away in stacks in the cavernous basements of the building, available to order. Like most of those who ardently supported the building of the library, I had never been in it. I had no idea where the reference room was located or even if there was one.

As soon as I got into the building I called Mavis and reprised my telephone call to her of yesterday without the shouting. I was in a library after all.

She said: “Oh yeah, Vihn. I forgot about him.”

Me, voice rising: “Forgot about him?”

Mavis: “Listen honey, I am in the middle of doing a customers back. He wants a jungle scene like mine and I’m in the middle of it. He grabbed my ass so I’m hiding a penis in the bushes.” She giggled. Continued: “We’ll talk more about it tonight. See ya, sweetie.” and she hung up.

I stood there looking at the phone when I heard, “Find what you’re looking for boss?”

Answered: “Uh… no. Let’s go.”

On the way to where he parked the car, I turned to Vu, said, “Look I’m exhausted. It’s late and I’m going home. I need to do more thinking. We’ll start again early tomorrow. I’ll walk from here.”

“No need boss, I’ll drive you.”

Clearly he was not going to let me get away that easy.

I directed him to the Utah Hotel on Fourth and Bryant. It was a low-cost single room occupancy hotel with an interesting bar on the ground floor. Told him I rented a long-term suite on the top floor. It was two blocks from my loft.

During the ride I asked him if he knew Lily Park. He indicated that she was one of Vihn’s attorney’s. Then he spent some time describing her looks and her body and explaining what he would do with the latter if he were given a chance to do so.

I said: “Was Martin Vihn fucking her?”

Joe: “I don’t know. All the ladies seem to like him. But he’s pretty cool about that.”

Me: “Is he gay?”

Joe laughing: “Fuck man you can get us both killed for even thinking that.”

When we arrived in front of the hotel, Vu turned to me and asked in all seriousness, “Is there anything I should be studying to learn about the detective business?”

I was taken aback. Thought as quickly as I could, said, “When you get home, go on line and watch the movie “The Maltese Falcon.” The version starring Humphrey Bogart. You ever seen it?”

“No,” but I heard of the Bogart guy, same as the old guys say when you slop up a blunt.”

“Yeah. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. Meet me here at 9:30”

I got out of the car and walked into the hotel, waited a few minutes, went back out, checked to see that he had left and having satisfied myself that he had, walked home down Fourth Street.


2012: 132 people provided over 60% of all the money contributed to political PAC’s in the US that year. That is only 0.000042 percent of the nation’s population.

(I strongly doubt any one of those 132 people gave that money without expecting something in return.

If you’re a politician, and you spend between 30 and 70 percent of your time begging for funds for the next election cycle, as American politicians do … who you gonna call? What are you going to offer them for their money?

There are 535 elected officials in Congress. They in effect work for those 132 people even though we, the rest of the 300 or so million Americans, pay their salaries.)

A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:


(What does it say about a society that accepts that some fortunate few would become even richer while the rest of that society becomes poorer?)

B. Testosterone Chronicles:

Review of Blood Sport, by Robert F. Jones, a re-issue of one of the greatest “mens” coming of age novels ever written:

“The best look at life as a man and the best description of (necessary?) madness ever put in print, there’s simply nothing like this book, nothing nowhere, nohow. R.F. Jones wrote a ‘lost’ masterpiece back in the 70s and I am SO glad to see it back in print. I can start giving it to the weak and the strong again, it’s good for what ails all of ’em. This saga of a man and his son’s journey up the Hassayampa river, complete with exotic mixed grill, tourist traps and deadfalls, madness, mau-maus and Ratnose qualifies as a defining point in Mens Fiction of the latter 20th century. Let me repeat that, this is fiction for Men. No one get their politically correct undies in a wad, that was just a fair warning, the last you’ll get around here. Anybody whining after that was said, Ratnose throws to the dogs. The point is, you’re on your own up the Hassayampa, and that’s a big hint. Come on along, anybody interested, you’ll figure out whether you need something you ain’t got soon enough. The bunch of yez, load your pockets with ammo and jerky, check the knife in your boot and start steppin’. See what’s waiting for you up the river. Something different waiting for everyone, a vision quest that will end or it won’t, maybe just a new assessment of your foodchain pecking order. The Hassayampa giveth and it taketh away. You’ll see what I mean, just look at the flotsam floating by, mastadons and marlin, atlatls and motorbikes. You’re checking your backtrail? Then you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. What’re you waiting on? The water’s just fine. It told me so it’s own self.”

(Anyone interested in learning what lies at the dark heart of maleness should read this book. Anyone who wants to understand why I believe it is time for men to step aside and women take over should read this book. The Hassayampa has been covered over and turned into a parking lot. The male myth is dead. Ratnose has retreated to where the gods of Olympus now dwell. No longer will men look into his eyes and duel with fly rods for the souls of their sons.)

C. Tales of Inhumanity.

Samuel Zylberstein:

“They packed 120 people into a boxcar designed for 20 people or 10 horses. The doors were slid shut and sealed, the windows boarded up and covered with barbed wire. We stood crammed inside the closed box, each person glued to the next, forming a single mass. We could not raise our hands or make the slightest movement.

Terrible scenes took place in the cars between people who had been condemned to death, people who had lost their wits. Everyone tried pushing through to the door or window to find a crack, just to get a gulp of air. Some were sobbing, others fainted, but there was no room for them to fall. Their bodies simply stayed in place, pressed between our own.

All desperate cries and sobs were in vain. No help was coming; no help could come. Human feelings disappeared; we were no longer human. The stronger tried to break away to climb over the heads of the others, to win a little space so they could see outside.
Some were shouting, “I have to look outside! I have to see where they’re taking me! I know this road. I’m not going to the gas chamber! I’m going to jump from the train! Live or die by a bullet! No gas for me! It’s the strongest who’ll survive!”

The engines pulled slowly as the train rolled on toward the victims’ doom. The cars were guarded on both sides. Ukrainians were lying on the roof. Sometime during the night people standing by the cracks in the window claimed they were taking us to Treblinka. The prisoners began to panic.

Someone pried up a board and a few people tried to jump from the train, but unfortunately no one managed to escape. The murderers kept the entire route lit with spotlights, so they’d be sure not to miss anyone who attempted to get away. A friend of mine who was in the car asked me to hold his coat while he jumped and then throw the coat after him. I watched him: No sooner had he jumped than he was hit. His coat was riddled by bullets as well.
Every time someone jumped, all the Ukrainians up and down the train started shooting at once. Occasionally the train would stop and start again, leaving behind a trail of corpses.

In the middle of the night they started shooting into the cars through the windows. The lucky ones were hit and killed. They were free. We could no longer stand it – the crowding, the stench, the unbeatable thirst; we were covered with sweat and blood, the blood of our brothers.

We did what we could to gain a little calm during our last hours. Our limbs had grown stiff we couldn’t straighten our arms. Our brothers’ blood was on our clothes; we couldn‘t wipe it of and had to use our teeth to tear the garments off one another’s body. Then we stood naked inside the crowded, stinking car. The thirst was indescribable; we tried using our tongues to wet each others lips.
Toward dawn our car became less crowded: about 40 people were already dead, most killed by Ukrainian bullets fired through the walls. We tried to clean up so as not to trample their bodies. Now we were a little more “comfortable,” at least able to sit down on the blood-covered floor, but with every passing kilometer our fear and despair grew.

A panic broke out when we reached Malkinia: “Listenl They’re going to run us straight from the cars to the gas chambers! O God, O God, where are you!”

What they saw through the cracks took the last hope away from those who still had any illusions. People tore their hair, scratched at their faces, and broke their fingernails. That’s what the last minutes are like before a gruesome death in the gas chamber.
But ten men in our car could count themselves happy; ten jews were treated kindly by fate. “Now is the time, comrades,” said Dr. Mantel. “We have a little more room.” Ten young healthy people sat together on the blood-stained floor. They kissed one another, said their farewells, and then swallowed a dose of cyanide.

One minute later nine more bodies were lying in the car. The tenth was not affected; his dose must have been insufficient. Oh, you happy people! You no longer have to suffer, no longer have to bear the terrible hell that we must face. They can poison you with gas and burn you all they want, but you will be numb to the suffering.

Everyone envied those nine souls.

Of 120 people locked inside the car, 37 were still alive when the train arrived at the platform.”
(Excerpted from Brad DeLong’s Journal.)



1. Consciousness is nothing more than post hoc rationalization.

2. Humans are not rational animals, but rationalizing ones.

3. Consciousness is whatever one tells oneself to keep away the darkness.





The Duck Pond in El Dorado Hills

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 16 Joey 0002 (April 5, 2013)



The day after my sister and the others left, George, Hayden and I spent most of it cleaning up the main house since it had been rented out for the next two days. That night after going to bed in the converted water tower where Hayden and I stay, I awakened in the middle of the night with cold feet.

Exceptionally cold feet were one of the many symptoms the material given me by the medical staff when I was discharged from the hospital warned would result in dire consequences should I not seek immediate medical treatment. Since over the past two months I have dutifully reported each of the symptoms listed to various doctors and had been told not to worry about them, I decided to buy a heating bag to treat my cold feet rather than rushing off to the hospital whenever my toes felt as though they had frozen solid and were in danger of falling off.

So I reached down for the heating pad, turned it on and while I was arranging it about my feet I felt an extremely sharp pain in my finger – a cross between being poked with a needle and an electric shock. I jumped out of bed and rushed across the room to put on the light knowing that had I been punctured by a needle, because of the blood thinning medicine I was taking, I would be bleeding profusely. I checked my finger and found no puncture wound. I reasoned that in that case there was probably a short-circuit in the heating pad.

I returned to the bed and checked the pad. There was no evidence of a short so I assumed that somehow a needle had gotten stuck into the pad’s cover and had fallen into the bed. I then searched under the bedding and felt two more painful shocks to the back of my hand. I turned back the covers and a large insect flew out. It was about an inch in length from head to the end of its wings. It was black except for a white stripe around its body and its rust colored translucent wings. It flew across the room into a dark place above some cabinets too high for me to reach. I assumed it was either a large fly or a bee angry at being disturbed. I further assumed that now that it found shelter it would remain there for the rest of the night and so I shut off the light and went back to sleep.

About an hour later I was awakened by Hayden’s scream. He cried out that he had been attacked and bitten by an insect. This was followed by him scurrying down the ladder from his bunk. I turned on the light and the battle began.

The insect we realized was in fact a bee, angry to the point of madness. It was built like a tank, as though it was mechanical and not organic. It attacked us.

The battle raged throughout the room. I picked up a board about four inches wide and over two feet long that was leaning against one wall. It was a sign that previously had hung above the doorway. With it I fended off the mad bee until it landed on the ground. Then, with Hayden’s urging, I slammed the board down on it with all my might – to no effect.

When I lifted the board it flew out angrier that ever. I eventually drove it under the stove. Silence reigned as we waited. We then crept closer. Suddenly the bee flew out and we stumbled backwards in fright. It landed again on the ground a few feet from the stove. I slammed the board on him again and again. Despite the pounding it still lived. Although it no longer flew it continued to crawl towards us, malice gleaming from its 10,000 eyes. With a mixture of admiration and horror of the beast, I struck it again. This time, although it still crawled it was stunned enough that I was able to open the door and flip it out into the night.

H and I slammed the door shut and leaned against it just in case it decided to break down the door and come after us again. It was then I was able to look at what was written on the board. It read:

“Peace to all who enter here.”

The next day we took an outrigger canoe and paddled up the Big River. We saw a seal sunning itself on a log.


The seal on the river.

The following day we went in search of a letterbox. Although the directions were entertaining, requiring some mathematics and orienteering to find where the box was hidden, when we got there it was gone.


George and Hayden search for the missing letterbox.

The day after the letterbox disappointment we left to return to San Francisco by way of Fort Ross. It has been almost twenty years since I travelled along that section of the California coast. It rained on and off during the drive, but it was mostly a light rain and did not interfere much with our enjoyment of the magnificent views and our sojourn at Fort Ross. We turned inland at the Russian River traveling through Gruernville and Forestville and arrived in the early evening at my sister’s house in Berkeley where we spent the night.

I planned to stay at my sister’s house until the doctor’s removed the blood clot filter from my vein on Wednesday. Hayden and I whiled away the time mostly hanging out as I tried to come up with things to entertain an eight year old. One day while walking through Golden Gate Park H asked me, “Where did they bury God?”

“God is Dead,” I responded?

Hayden: “Oh yes. He died a long time ago. Everyone knows that.”

I must have missed that news. Was it reported in the NY Times Sunday Edition? Does the Pope know?

I also had to change my meds from pills to self-injected blood thinners in preparation for the procedure. The cost of the three-day supply of the new meds was about $1000. When George, for comparison purposes, looked into Canadian suppliers, their price for the drugs was less than my deductible. I could not but suspect that the market price for pharmaceuticals in the US is set not by good old supply and demand but by what would be considered by some in other circumstances as a massive criminal conspiracy .


Dragon’s Breath:

Sam Spade: Ten thousand? We were talking about a lot more money than this.

Kasper Gutman: Yes, sir, we were, but this is genuine coin of the realm. With a dollar of this, you can buy ten dollars of talk.

Chapter Ten:

Martin Vihn walked to the center of the garage and beckoned to the 16 year-old delinquent in the Iron Maiden T-shirt. He turned to me and said:

“This is Joe Vu. He is my cousin. He will be spending a few days with you as you look for Clarence Reilly. I want you to leach him how to be a detective.”

Joe Vu: “Cool.”

Me: “What! Uh… I work alone.”

Martin Vihn: Just stares.

Me: “Ok for a few days. But I can’t teach him to be a private investigator. You have to be 21 years old to get a license.”

Joe Vu: “I’m twenty-three.”

Martin Vihn: Continues staring.

Me: “One has to work for three years in investigation to qualify for a license in California.”

Martin Vihn: “OK… I will pay you $1000 a month for employing my cousin for three years to teach him how to be a detective.”

Me, sweating again and at the verge of panic: “But there are a lot of rules, taxes and the like when one hires someone. I am not equipped to do that. Besides I have to pay him at least minimum wage.”

Martin Vihn: “No problem. I’ll take care of his needs. My accountant Robert Wu will handle all the bureaucratic stuff.” With that he motioned the old Asian man over and said to him, “Robert please pay Mr Dragon $1100 dollars for his first weeks work, another $1000 in advance for Joe Vu. Add $500 in advance for his expenses and another $500 bonus for being so…uh…accommodating.” He turned to the smiling Iron Maiden” t-shirt wearing 23-year-old and said, “Joe, you can take the Lexus to drive Mr. Dragon around.”

Joe Vu: “Cool”

While wondering if anyone under the age of fifty said “cool” anymore, Mr Wu approached me and started pulling money out of a large wallet and handing it to me along with his business card. He mumbled something that I could not understand.

With that Martin Vihn walked off to the Mercedes followed by his other acolytes and drove off. Mr Wu returned to the office. Leaving me holding a business card in one hand, a bunch of money in the other and staring at the smiling Joe Vu.

“Ok boss where do we start” he said?

“Don’t call me boss. I am not Charlie Chan and you are not number one son.” Actually he called the old man “pops” which was just as annoying to the old man as “boss” was to me.

As we turned to walk to the Lexus he said, “Ok boss. Who’s Charlie Chan?”

“A Chinese detective in some old movies who solved crimes with his number one son. They are not shown anymore.”

“Why is that?”

“Because the Chinese detective was played by a white man and critics said the movies emphasized racial stereotypes.”

“Oh,” he said as he opened the car door for me. “I guess we’re more like the Green Hornet and Cato.”

“No,” I said getting into the car. “I don’t look good in a mask.”

“You’re funny boss,” he said as he closed the door.

He got in the driver’s side and said, “Were to boss… er… chief.”

I said, “On second thought, boss will do. To the San Francisco Public Library.”

“Ok boss. Why the library?”

“Because the first rule in private detection is, gather the information.” Actually the first rule is get paid up front… which I thought, for better of worse, during these past two days I seem to have done better than I have ever done before in my life.

“Now don’t talk for a while, I’ve got to think. The second rule of private detection is to think first talk second.” That’s a lie too.

1788: Patrick Henry, he of “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” fame, during the debate in the Virginia Legislature on ratification of the proposed new Constitution of the United States had this to say about liberty for a majority of the residents of his State:

“In this state,” here are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.”

“…[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission… And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defense and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

“…This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it.”

“…This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress.”

This speech prompted what was eventually to become the Second Amendment to the US Constitution: assurance that the state militias, which in the southern states were organized for the most part to protect against slave rebellions, would not be disbanded by the proposed Federal Government. The potential of such rebellions struck mortal fear into the heart of just about every brave white southerner at the time. Thus in one speech this icon of liberty argued for the permanent enslavement of a majority the residents of his state and the military means to assure it; all thinly disguised under the rubric of “States Rights.”

In one way or another the rhetoric of politicians from the South has remained consistent for 225 years.

A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:


(During those same thirty years the US has tumbled from first among all nations in almost every determinant of freedom, economic development and social welfare to the level of third world countries in many of them. We all would like to be rich. But what does it say about a society that accepts that some fortunate few would become even richer while the rest of that society becomes poorer?)
B. Apologies, Regrets, Humiliations and Blasts from the Past:

Now and then I go back through old issues of T&T in search of dross among the dross. This one is far from dross. It was written 2010 by dear Irwin Shatzman in which he puts my self-indulgence in perspective:




A park bench in paradise. The figure of a man is seen sitting on the bench propped up as a human tripod by his two legs and a walking stick. His head is slumped over. He is wearing rather large sunglasses, a t-shirt that advertises foreign beer and appears to be motionless. He is in fact, quite dead.

Dead Man (before he dies, instead of saying, ‘I was once somebody and now I am nobody’, or, ‘I was once somebody now I am somebody else’) he say’s:

‘I used to be worthy of note, now I can’t even get a whistle. And to top it off I am about to be dead. I bet that when I do and they, whoever “they” are, go through my pockets and find a lotto ticket. It will contain the winning numbers, or, will it?!!’

Off stage the sound of a pistol being loaded is heard. The pistol belongs to Gun Girl.

End of Scene One”


“By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.”
Thomas Aquinas

“How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.”
Thomas Aquinas


(This map showing the distribution of genetic Y Haplogroups around the world in 1500 indicates to me that:

1. Theories that travelers from Africa, Asia or Europe during historical times (1000 BC to 1500 AD) journeyed to the Americas and created the advanced cultures that flourished there are probably incorrect.

2. A triangle whose points lie in the eastern Mediterranean, southern India and the Atali Mountains on the western border of Mongolia contains humanities genetic melting pot. We may all have come out of Africa but thereafter most of us are children of the steppes.)



The Sky Above El Dorado Hills

Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 9 Joey 0002 (March 29 2013)



Off to Mendocino. During the drive from Sacramento to San Francisco to pick up my grand-daughter Amanda and her mom Hiromi, I tuned into the local university classical music station to listen to a 1977 NY Metropolitan Opera performance of that old Verdi warhorse, La Forza del Destino, sung by the aging Leontyne Price and the young Placido Domingo. A few days before, I was listening to the same station while driving Hayden to school in the morning. As we approached the school, he insisted I turn off the music, which I did assuming he found my choice of music distasteful. During the stations introduction before the opera presentation, I asked him if he wanted me to change the station or turn off the radio since he did not enjoy the same type of music as I. “Oh, no,” he said. “It’s not that at all. I was afraid that some of the bullies at school would hear the music when I opened the car door and make fun of me for listening to old people’s music.” Then for the next hour he entertained me by singing along with the performers every part of the opera, especially mimicking Ms Price’s lirico spinto soprano – sometimes note for note including vibrato.

We picked up Hiromi and Amanda and drove to Mendocino. During the next three hours or so, the soothing sounds of Verdi were replaced by the incessant screams of eight year olds.

The following morning after searching for and finding a letterbox in the local Mendocino graveyard we left for Westport and the Pacific Star Winery for a picnic.


Hayden and Remo find the letterbox.

Once there we spend a glorious afternoon at the western edge of the continent drinking wine and picnicking with the beautiful, irrepressible and mysterious (she no doubt is a woman with a past) Sally, the owner of the winery about whom I have written in previous T&T issues.


Sally and Pookie

Later while in the Winery’s shop Sally leaned over to my sister and said, “Watch this. They fall for it every time.” She then turned to me who was trying on hats and said, “You look very attractive in that hat.” I bought the hat.


Me in my new hat posing with Etta and Sundance.

Then we spent a few hours at the north-end of Ten Mile Beach watching the kids run around like crazy.

The next day we whiled away the afternoon at the beach below the Mendocino bluffs at the end of Big River. I sat on a seven-foot diameter redwood trunk that lay on the beach and watched the children play on the driftwood strewn sand where the river met the ocean. Over 40 years ago when I first laid eyes on Mendocino, the beach housed a counterculture encampment. I recalled the sweet smell of marijuana smoke, the sounds of guitars and long-haired girls in tie-die dresses dancing barefoot in the sand. All gone now, replaced by a few homeless campers being rousted by the Park Police.

The next day my sister, Hiromi and Amanda left leaving George, Hayden and I to spend the remainder of the week doing guy things – like enjoying long periods of silence broken now and then by grunts and the periodic passing of wind.



Dragon’s Breath:

Sam Spade: “Then the trick from my angle is to make my play strong enough to tie you up, but not make you mad enough to bump me off against your better judgment.”

Chapter Nine:

One would think that by now I would have thought of some snappy answers to these questions but I hadn’t. Said, “I’m a private investigator hired to try to find him.”

More silence and staring. Finally, “Who hired you?”

I decided to skip repeating yesterday’s patter that had gotten me nowhere. Answered, “His girl friend.” I did not mention the Rotund Brothers since it would require too much explanation.

I expected to hear, “Fucking Mavis” in response but instead got more silence and staring as he apparently struggled with the obvious next question. “What have you found out so far?”

“Nothing, except there seems to be a lot of people looking for him.”

Quickly, “Who – besides the girlfriend?”

“Two fat guys I ran into yesterday who beat the shit out of me – which I hope you and your friends won’t do today.”

“We’ll see. They do that?” he motioned with his chin toward the now colorful bruise on mine. “Doesn’t seem like much of a shit kicking.”

“Well it didn’t happen to you.”

“Nor will it ever.” he responded, then ordered “come with me.” He walked to the door in the wall and opened it. Having no discernible options and curious whether we were about to share some bizarre asian peeing ritual in the garage toilet or if the room behind the door served another purpose, I followed.

The room behind the door turned out to contain a tiny office, not a toilet. A small old wooden desk extended from one wall almost to the opposite leaving barely enough room for someone to shimmy past. The walls were covered in peeling paint the color of which seemed to be late septic tank. A three-year old calendar hung on one wall and a number of business cards were taped to another. The only other furniture in the room was a rickety bentwood chair in front of the desk and a 1940’s era wooden swivel chair behind it. In the latter sat the aging asian man who, upon our arrival promptly got up slid around the edge of the desk and in a half bow with eyes cast down to the floor scurried past us and out the door.

My host replaced the old man. As he was sitting down I said, “they usually call me Dragon,” and slid one of my business cards along the top of the desk. He did not pick it up but instead stared at it as though it contained an explosive. He then looked back at me and said, “Do you know Clarence Reilly?”

This surprised me somewhat. Answered, “Somewhat. When I was with Carter and James I handled some matters for him. I’ve been to his house now and then.” I did not tell him those visits usually ended up with us sitting on the floor of his living-room smoking dope while he lectured me of the ethical superiority of eastern religions even though on his day job he had no hesitation fucking over women and orphans to make a buck. He had a Thai wife, Thai nanny and three half-Thai kids. Things Thai were about the only thing we had in common. That and the compulsion to screw over the weak and defenseless in our day jobs. At least I hated chanting and the smell of incense.

“That’s a big firm,” he said. “So you’re a lawyer also. What…”

I finished his question for him. “What made me leave and become an itinerant Shamus?”

His stone-faced expression did not alter in response to my witless attempt at wit. “Yes,” he said.

“I wanted to associate with a better class of people. Like you, whoever you are.”

The slightest of smiles. “My name Mr. Dragon is Martin Vihn. You seem a bit old to start on a new career.”

“Dragon will do. Fifty-four is the new forty-four, soon to be the new thirty-four. In society’s eyes I am getting younger. If I live long enough I’ll become a teenager again.”

No reaction. “Did the men you, uh, met yesterday tell you what they were looking for.”

I hated breeching a client’s confidence, but hell they threatened me with a gun and now I’m sitting opposite someone who was probably a gangster and could do me at least as much harm as the Fat Boys. “No, just Holland. I’m pretty sure they were working for someone else though.”

“Oh,” with interest. “Who?”

“I have no idea. They were talking to someone on the phone who seemed to be giving them orders.”

He stared at me in silence for a very long time, then looked down at his hands clenched together on the desk. Finally he looked up at me and said, “What do you charge for detective work?”

I thought, “Shit not again.” Said, “Three hundred dollars a day. One week minimum. One half up front, plus expenses.” Added, “You should be aware, I have found out next to nothing so far about the whereabouts of Mark Holland.”

“Who said anything about Holland? He’s nobody. I want you to find Clarence Reilly.”

I laughed. I didn’t think he was serious. “Reilly’s a bit of a local big shot. He shouldn’t be that hard to find. Have you tried calling him on his phone or visiting his office or even his house.”

No reaction here either. “In fact we did,” he responded.

Now I thought that he might be serious. Said, “He’s missing?” No response. I took that for a yes. “How long?”

“Two Days”

“He’s probably fucking his secretary and will turn up in a few days.”

“The secretary’s at work. Do you want the job or not” he said getting up?

Having in the last two days already been hired by Mavis Corcoran and whomever was directing the Tons of Fun to find Holland Reilly’s partner in whatever it was that they had been up to and failing, I thought another $1000 to fail at finding Reilly himself was a pretty good deal provided I could avoid getting slapped around again. Besides this guy scared me too much to say no to. “Uh, OK. I’ll need some information however.”

Again the stare. I was getting a little annoyed about it.

“What information?” he said finally and began to come around the desk.

“What sort of business were you engaged in?”


It was like pulling teeth, “What were you importing or exporting?”

“Furniture. Joe will tell you all you need to know.” With that he walked out the door. I got up and followed. I thought, “Joe?”


A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:


B. Testosterone Chronicles or Women with Balls (Eleanor Roosevelt had them):

LIVEBLOGGING WORLD WAR II: MARCH 19, 1943 (From Brad DeLong’s Journal)

WASHINGTON, Thursday—I wonder whether you agree with the statement I made yesterday, that we cannot overcome difficulties unless we recognize them. In talking to some Russians once, I was struck by the fact that they kept insisting that everything in their country was perfect. It seemed to me, at the time, as rather childish and adolescent, but forgiveable in a young country trying a new experiment. In us, a mature democracy, it would seem to me unforgivable to deny the existence of unpleasant facts.

A certain gentleman in Congress seems to have forgotten that groups of sharecroppers attracted the attention of the whole country not so very long ago, because they were living along the highways and their living conditions were as bad as bad could be. This gentleman thinks it odd that a group of people are willing to back a union which will try to improve conditions for these people, and that acknowledges the fact of the conditions under which sharecroppers in the United States of America have had to live in certain parts of our country.

Perhaps the gentleman in question, who mentions only three people on this committee, would like to have it also recorded that there are a few others members of this committee—among them Bishop Edward L. Parsons, Governor Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Mr. Raymond Gram Swing and Mr. William Allen White. Perhaps this gentleman in Congrees [originally: Congress] would like to hear the stories that some of the these sharecroppers tell, not just the poor Negroes, but some of his own white people. I hardly think he would approve of these conditions.

Since they exist, I think we had better set ourselves to correcting them. That is the mature way to approach all undesirable situations. Of course, if he approves of them, then I can well understand that he does not wish to have them mentioned.

Hitler’s propagandists can make far greater use of things that are wrong and which we do not try to correct, than they can when we try to improve conditions. This member of Congress is evidently not reading some of the things which the German propagandists have said about situations which have occurred in this country, at least he makes no mention of them.
Eleanor Roosevelt

(God bless you Mrs. Roosevelt.)
C. Apologies, Regrets, Humiliations and Announcements:

We have been joined today by Reed Holderman one of the more effective members of that little band who actually acted to preserve California’s Coast rather than just talking about it.


“What the [repeated] bad predictions [from economists, politicians, and lobbyists] tell us is that we are, in effect, dealing with priests who demand human sacrifices to appease their angry gods — but who actually have no insight whatsoever into what those gods actually want, and are simply projecting their own preferences on to the alleged mind of the market.”
Paul Krugman: The Market Speaks


Countries by Fertility Rate.




More Spring in the Foothills…

Categories: January 2013 through March 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 JOEY 0002 (March 23,2013)



Spring has fully enveloped the foothills. There was a break in the warming weather during SWAC’s visit last week and the temperatures turned briefly back to winter cold. I know co-incidence is not causation but sometimes it makes me feel better to believe it is.

Gained a new story; During the World Baseball Championships at Pac Bell Park, Bill Gates (the original) mentioned that he spent 30 years as a baseball umpire working his way up to Major League Rookie League Umpire before leaving for less socially responsible endeavors such as law and politics.

I am looking forward to spending a week at my sister’s place in Mendocino.



Dragon’s Breath:

Sam Spade: “I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble.”

Chapter: Eight.

I hate motorcycles almost as much as I hate riding on the back of one. Nevertheless I climbed on to the large Harley and embraced my leather-clad tattooed lady from behind. As we roared off I dealt with my fear by clutching her tightly as close to her breasts as decency allowed, closing my eyes and replaying in my mind the morning’s exploration of Mavis’ jungle – meeting wide-eyed cobras and shriveling before the black depths of the tigers mouth.

She dropped me off at Eleventh and Folsom about a block from the automobile Smog Check shop I intended to visit. I watched her drive off in the general direction on downtown.

Eleventh and Folsom is the center of one of the City’s seedier night-club venues where ownership of the various clubs often mysteriously change from month to month. It is also the site of the legendary Folsom Street Fair where once a year one can observe leather clad nearly naked men and a few woman copulate on the sidewalks.

I walked down Eleventh to the shop. I was not concerned about what I would do when I get there since I already decided I would do whatever it took to assure that my visit failed. I did however wrestle with how I would explain my lack of progress to the Tons of Fun if they called this evening. I settled on the expedient of not answering the phone.

There was a small sign posted on the building identifying it as an official smog check testing station. Two large garage doors opened into a dark interior. I entered the building a few feet and waited for my eyes to adjust. I had no intention of going further inside. I wanted to leave myself room to run, just in case I met up with someone with an attitude similar to the Blimp Brothers.

I saw two men who appeared to work there standing next to an automobile lift. There were no cars in the place. I deduced they worked on automobiles because they were dressed in overalls and covered in greasy grime from their boots to the tips of their heads. I could not make out their ethnic group through the grime. I guessed they were either Latinos or Asians or perhaps even aliens from out of space. Standing in the shadows they appeared mostly as dark blobs.

Asked, “Do either of you know where I can find Matt Holland?” That seemed direct enough to elicit an answer in the negative enabling me to leave and go back home, hang out for a while, maybe take a nap and then call Mavis to give her the bad news and invite her over for the evening.

Neither answered for a while, but both stared at me. Finally one said, “Owner return Half Hour.” Obviously english was not his first language. Which language was his first I had no idea. “OK,” I said. “I will come back.”

I turned saw a pizza place across the street. Decided I was hungry and needed to replenish the energy I had expended during the mornings romp with Mavis. Turned back and said, “I’m going to get a pizza.” I noticed one of the employees disappearing through a door along one side of the garage. I guessed it opened into either an office or the bathroom.

While devouring a slice of pepperoni pizza and downing a coke, I saw a late model silver-blue automobile enter the garage. Since it was a late model, I assumed it was not a customer. I left the pizza joint, walked across the street and into the garage. An older asian man was speaking with the two workers. He turned when I entered, approached me and without offering a greeting or hand shake said, “You are asking about Mr. Holland?” I had barely answered in the affirmative before he continued, “Just a moment, I will return shortly,” and he abruptly turned and went through same door the worker had gone through previously.

I cooled my heels and passed on an embarrassed smile to the employees. They did not respond. After about ten minutes of this I became annoyed and started to walk toward the door the older gentlemen had disappeared into. I stopped when two automobiles screeched to a halt by the garage entrance. One was a silver Mercedes and the other a black Lexis. Three young men got out of the Mercedes and two exited the Lexus.

They stood together in a bunch staring at me. They were dressed somewhat alike. Dark trousers, four of them wearing plain white tee-shirts and one, who looked to be about 16 years old, in a black tee with “Iron Maiden” graphics emblazoned on it. Three of the others wore dark windbreakers over their tees. Except for the teenager they all appeared to be in their early twenties save for the individual who appeared to be the leader. He seemed to be in his late 30’s, sporting a pencil thin mustache. He wore a sport jacket over his tee that now that I looked closer appeared to be silk and not the cotton worn by the others.

“Fucking Mavis,” I thought not for the first time, as the same torrent of sweat I experienced upon meeting the Two Jolly Fat Boys yesterday inundated my clothing. I however clenched my sphincter determined to not shit my pants today. I stupidly left no way to run. At least there were no guns evident and they had not begun to slap me around–yet.

The older one walked up to me and stared into my eyes for what seemed to me was an inordinate amount of time and intensity for someone who I had not yet met.

He then said, in a voice that was strangely gravelly and high-pitched at the same time, “Who are you and what’s your interest in Holland?”


A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:


B. Apologies, Regrets and Humiliations:

Due to popular demand, (actually, only one person requested the omitted sections of the previous chapter of “Enter the Dragon,”) I have decided to include it here. While you may think that the request of one person is not a ringing endorsement. Nevertheless, when one extrapolates the readership of T&T to say the entire population of the US, one would have about 15 million people clamoring for it. Of course, that would mean probably up to 250 million who did not give a shit and 30 million were disgusted at the very thought of reading it.

I have chosen to place it here toward the end of this issue of T&T because most of you will not read this far and those who may be offended by its prurience, infantile obsessions and mediocrity, I imagine, would have given up by now anyway.

Chapter Seven, the missing portion:

By the time I had mounted the steps up to the sleeping platform, she had already removed her boots and was unbuckling her belt. Uncertain whether I should embrace her so that we could passionately strip each other of our clothing and fall into bed like they do in the movies, I hesitated. Since I was already mostly naked, it felt somewhat unfair. So I just stood there like an old salami in the butchers window. Having nothing better to do, I shifted my weight from foot to foot while I watched.

She was wearing a slip like top similar to the one she wore yesterday except today it was a deep rose color. Bikini panties of the same color as her top revealed more than they concealed. I still was disappointed, however. I expected or at least hoped for thongs.

Her leather pants were pretty tight so she struggled, pulling first on one side and then the other to maneuver them over her hips and buttocks. Despite her skinny frame and relatively modest breasts her hips and ass were fuller than I imagined.

The tattoo jungle theme continued along her legs. It extended less down her left leg then her right which gave her the appearance of wearing a tight bias cut dress.

Her bending over to push the pants down to her ankles decided for me that it was time to move in. I approached her with my arms extended, fingers itching to caress almost any part of her body. Without looking up at me she forestalled my amorous approach by grabbing on to my outstretched hand in order to balance herself while she pulled her pants over her feet and tossed them into the corner. That accomplished, she stood up facing me and said, “Take off those horrid ugly shorts.”

I did and we fell on to the bed.

I decided to begin at the center of things, with her navel, which as I lifted lifted her shirt appeared to form an eddy or a whirlpool in the middle of a lake around which several tropical animals loitered, drinking the water or looking about for predators. Behind them the jungle foliage rose with tiny brightly colored birds and arboreal mammals shyly peeking out. As I approached the swelling curves of the breasts, I noticed the coils of a snake circling the left one. I lifted the shirt and traced with my lips the coils until they ended at the nipple balanced like the rattle on a rattlesnake. “Oh, that must have hurt,” I thought until oblivion replaced thought as I greedily satisfied my oral fixation, an artifact of, I suppose, my mother’s objection to breast feeding. While so occupied, I continued to push up the slip up toward her shoulder exposing more of the snake.

“Holy shit,” I squealed as I jumped up on my knees. There at her shoulder rose the head of a cobra with giant eyes staring directly at the nipple I was just so happily caressing with my lips.

“You have a fucking snake staring at me.”

“Oh, that’s just Roger.”

“Roger! You have a tattooed snake with a name?”

“You’ll get used to it.”

And so I did.

The remainder of the morning was spent in an orgasm competition that she won 5 to 2. At least I assume her screaming and calling on the deity represented what it was intended to represent. With men one has some physical evidence that something just happened that was delightful even if they can not precisely recall how it felt. With woman you have to take their word for it.

In between bouts, during that period of self-congratulation, itchy guilt and incipient resentment when spent participants grope and pat each other to demonstrate a continuing connection even though all they really want is to be left alone, I obsessed on things that still bothered me. Like the lie about the black-eye. Who was directing the Tweedledee and Tweedledum and why? What the fuck was this all about anyway? But, at about the time I began to feel the stirrings urging me to prepare for the next bout, I dismissed them all convinced that I was not going to follow-up on anything anyway.

By about noon, having thoroughly and repeatedly explored each others ventral cavities, I turned her over searching for new opportunities for adventure. The jungle labyrinth continued in even greater profusion, rising up her neck and disappearing into her hair. Complex scenes of various perspectives and festooned with multicolored birds and reptiles and sinuous slinking mammals entwined with the overwhelmingly green foliage covered her back.

The jungle rose on to the mounds of he buttocks like a devouring fungus forming itself into a aboreous cave about her dorsal cleft growing darker as one penetrated deeper into it. A few iridescent eyes peeking out from the foliage. At its deepest and darkest point the glistening eyes of a tiger stared out at me, its mouth open with fangs like a half-open portcullis guarding the castle entrance.

“What the fuck,” I said jumping up and shriveling. “You’re nuts.”

“Oh that” she responded.

“Yes That. I suppose it’s got a name too.”

“No,” she laughed, “Mark the artist said ‘anyone can have the rest of you but your ass is mine.’

OK, I admit I was speechless at her response, also disgusted and disinclined to proceed further. Said, “look I have things to do” and turned and tromped off toward the bathroom. She jumped up and followed. Said, “you’re going to visit Mark’s shop?”

I had forgotten all about my promise. One I had no intention of keeping. Said, “Yeah,” anyway.

She followed me into the shower. Final score six to three. I still lost.

Decided I was experiencing the next best thing to love: hopeless obsession, terminal stupidity and lust. I felt I probably would do anything and everything for her despite the tattoos – except for anything too painful – OK, I admit, probably even a little bit of pain or even the threat of it would have given me second thoughts about my commitment.


“The treasure captured outside Europe by undisguised looting, enslavement and murder, floated back to the mother-country and were there turned into capital.”
— Marx, Capital, Vol. 1 Ch. 32.


1. Population growth:


2. Temperature rise:


(Hockey stick graphs like this, in biology, usually signify the imminent death of the organism.)



Spring comes to El Dorado Hills.


Categories: January 2013 through March 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 25 COLD TITS 0002 (March 11, 2013)



Birthdays have always been disappointments to me. Like with most holidays, anticipation is rarely rewarded by enjoyment.


Saturday evening SWAC left to return to Thailand. My own travel plans include a return to Thailand at the end of April, July in Italy, early August in NY and DC and a return to Sacto by Aug. 7. Hopefully my health will hold up. March and April not taken up by babysitting duties will be spent undergoing various medical procedures and tests.

Last night I watched one of those interminable fund-raising programs on PBS. This one featured music of the Fifties. It included live performances of mostly white singers of the time who are still alive along with a few black and white film clips of those who are not. The Maguire sisters, recently gifted with the miracle of modern cosmetic surgery, performed together for the first time in ages. I enjoyed hearing the lead singer of the Chordettes, one of my favorite groups, sing Mr. Sandman and Lollypop. Notably absent were the early rock pioneers especially the black ones like Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Frankie Lyman or for that matter even the white rockers of the time, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Halley, Dion and Buddy Holley. Instead we were treated to an excess of that paragon of reaction to the threat of Rock and Roll to American values, Pat Boone. Boone has evolved from the hypocritical frat boy image he affected at the time as the representative of “traditional” and conservative Republican values, to dressing like an exhausted gay queen. Sort of like the modern Republican party that has morphed from robust hypocrisy to resembling aging gay hookers working the margins of society.

I realized that as I grow older I listen less and less to music. Even nostalgia does not tempt me. I think it is because in music, even at its most tragic, there is optimism.



Dragon’s breath:

Brigid O’Shaughnessy: “What would you do if I didn’t tell you? Something wild and unpredictable?”

Chapter Seven:

My dreams whether pleasant, sweaty or horrifying didn’t matter much. I could hear the massive earthmover engines grinding away as it buried them all beneath tons of dirt. Only a tiny gleam of light remained through which I could still see a bit of blue sky. Surprisingly, rather than disappearing, the light grew larger and brighter as the huge machine appeared to remove the earth instead of piling it on top of me. I woke up. Figured the dream was one of the sweaty ones given the beads of moisture running down my forehead. The grinding noise continued. It was the door buzzer.

I got up, ran down the steps from the sleeping platform, not so much out of eagerness to see who was there, but to stop the racket. I told you how much I hated that sound. Pressed the intercom. Shouted cleverly, “Yeah.”

“It’s me Mavis”

“Fucking MavIs,” I thought equally cleverly as I buzzed her in. Noticed my flagpole raising as I recalled how our time together yesterday ended. There was a kick at the door. I opened it.

Mavis stood there two containers of Starbucks coffee and a bag of pastries in her hands. Her eyes widened. “You’re naked!”

“It’s truth,” I said. “The lie starts as soon as I put on my socks.” I had no idea how many tight black leather outfits she had. It did not matter since this one was good enough to fully unfurl my flag.

She looked down. Said, “I can see you don’t have a gun in your pocket, so I assume you are glad to see me.” She’s no Mae West, but that she could quote her raised my estimation of her as rapidly as it deflated my expectations. She brushed by me, added “your bandage is falling off.” She went to the table, put down the coffee and began removing pastries from the bag.

Walked up behind her. Tried to re-stick the bandage to my face. Gave up. Put my arms around her waist. Felt the cool leather against my skin. Said, “I was thinking about yesterday.”

She turned to face me. Said, “I hate cold coffee.”

Laughed. Said “No not that–yet. Something you said doesn’t add up.”

She sighed, reached up and pulled the sagging bandage off. I winced. She said, “Why don’t you put something on. Then we can have our coffee and talk. I won’t be distracted”

I ran back up to the sleeping platform, put on some plaid boxers, came back down. She stared at the boxers. I said “what?” She smiled, shrugged and sat down at the table. She had placed the pastries on two small plates. Bear-claws. I hate Bear-claws. She sat down opposite me picked up her pastry and said, “Bear-claws, I just love them. Don’t you?”

I grunted. Said, “I think that Mark and Reilly were mixed up in something more than a big export deal and you know what it is. Dope, I guess.”

“So what” she responded? “I thought you were off the case? Even if it were true what would you do about it, quit? Good.”

Said, “I hate Bear-claws.

She pouted, put hers down, looked at me for a long moment and said “What are you going to do now, today?”

I had no idea. The best plan I had going was to take off for Vegas or someplace like that for a week or two. Said, “I’m going to talk to the people he worked with.” It was the first thing that came into my mind.

“They just install car mufflers. What would they know?”

“I good detective checks out everything.”

That may be true for good detectives but I was not one of them, at least not the “good” part. It was the best I could come up with.

“OK,” she said, “I’ll drive you.

“We’ve got time. The coffee’s cold.”

She smiled got up and walked to the stairs leading up to the sleeping platform. I jumped up, stumbled over the chair and followed.

Note: Although the rest of the chapter advances the plot and character development of the two protagonists, because this is more or less a family publication, it is omitted here. I will be happy to send it wrapped in brown paper electrons to anyone who requests it.


A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

1. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“When the United States of America, which was meant to be a Utopia for all, was less than a century old, Noah Rosewater and a few men like him demonstrated the folly of the Founding Fathers in one respect: those sadly recent ancestors had not made it the law of the Utopia that the wealth of each citizen should be limited.

This oversight was engendered by a weak-kneed sympathy for those who loved expensive things and by the feeling that the continent was so vast and valuable, and the population so thin and enterprising, that no thief, no matter how fast he stole, could more than mildly inconvenience anyone.

Noah and a few like him perceived that the continent was in fact finite, and that venal office-holders, legislators in particular, could be persuaded to toss up great hunks of it for grabs, and to toss them in such a way as to have them land where Noah and his kind were standing.

Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.

E pluribus unum is surely an ironic motto to inscribe on the currency of this Utopia gone bust, for every grotesquely rich American represents property, privileges, and pleasures that have been denied the many. An even more instructive motto, in light of history made by the Noah Rosewaters, might be: Grab much too much, or you’ll get nothing at all.”
-Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

2. Budget Priorities:


B. Testosterone Chronicles:

The Massagetae:

“The following are some of their customs; – Each man has but one wife, yet all the wives are held in common; for this is a custom of the Massagetae and not of the Scythians, as the Greeks wrongly say. Human life does not come to its natural close with this people; but when a man grows very old, all his kinsfolk collect together and offer him up in sacrifice; offering at the same time some cattle also. After the sacrifice they boil the flesh and feast on it; and those who thus end their days are reckoned the happiest. If a man dies of disease they do not eat him, but bury him in the ground, bewailing his ill-fortune that he did not come to be sacrificed. They sow no grain, but live on their herds, and on fish, of which there is great plenty in the Araxes River. Milk is what they chiefly drink. The only god they worship is the sun, and to him they offer the horse in sacrifice; under the notion of giving to the swiftest of the gods the swiftest of all mortal creatures.”


“MSNBC is safe sex between responsible, consenting adults enjoying a night together after a Valentine’s Day dinner. Fox is a couple of meth heads abusing each other on camera.”
Patrick Costighan





Categories: January 2013 through March 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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