Tunesday: The Dead, Box of Rain

original_GD_skull_roses_colorAnother rain post–AND a Tunesday post–one of my favorite songs.  Anyone who ever had the pleasure of attending a outdoor Grateful Dead show in the rain knows what very special luck that is. Some bands run for cover, but the Dead just kicked it up a notch and dove into a “rain set.”

The last Grateful Dead show I ever saw, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, was twenty years ago today–June 30, 1995.  I went with Brian & Donna, my sister, and my mom–yep, my mom, whose eccentricities have been discussed elsewhere in this blog. Local heroes Rusted Root opened, and nearly shook the place apart, then the Dead hit the stage like a cool summer breeze.  About halfway into the evening the skies opened–it was a rain show, and it was amazing, beautiful, and tight–a rarity on that tour, from what I understand.  Maybe it was the rain?  Maybe it was the roses?

A mere forty days (and forty nights) later, on August 9,  Jerry Garcia was dead.

The last Grateful Dead show I ever saw, a mere forty days (and nights) before Jerry Garcia died was a rain show, amazing, and beautiful.  How lucky was that?



Monday/Memeday: Get In The Van

You had to know I’d have to get a few more words in after the events of the previous week, but you would be wrong.  It’s time to get some healing started, and what better way to start than with one of the all time great memes?  I thought you’d agree.  I never fail to crack a grin when I see this one. I know I feel a whole lot better already.


Now, if we can find just one reasonable presidential candidate, on either side of the aisle…but frankly, I fear we’re more likely to find a unicorn.

art Photo I Took Saturday Night Originals

Saturday Night Originals: Appalachian Sunburst 1985

So, it’s not Saturday. I know. I didn’t want to wait another week to get this series on track. I’m not a photographer, but I’ve taken a few dozen pictures over the years that I liked–some of them, like this one, are scans of ancient film shots. Enjoy the pretentious effects–I thought I was being pretty arty at the time.

Appalachia Sunburst


Cruz Vs. Clinton

Screenshot_10I was laughing when I lifted this from Twitter, planning to include it with the other funny posts I referenced in a post of #tedcruzcampaignslogans, but the more I thought about it the more I thought: this ticket would be ideal.

First and foremost, these two aren’t the idiots most of us think they are–oh, they’re simple enough, but the characteristics we deride as stupidity and are actually cynacism.  Politicians like Cruz, and sideshow performers like Palin, know their target demographic: older, conservative, poorly educated, resentful white people.  Their strategy is to rile up the disaffected, rally the numbers, and ride the wave. Cruz wants power, but (bristle if you want, it’s true:) Palin makes millions by running her mouth and posturing; as a candidate she would need to woo moderates and delivers possible solutions–it’s easier to just keep ranting and count the money as it flows in.

That said, despite a field of abrasive, much-loathed contenders like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and wingnutty Rand Paul, who spits more poison than a cobra, the Republicans have a significant advantage: malaise.


Hillary is almost a foregone conclusion as the Democratic candidate, and will remain so until some dark horse can buck the political machine and work her way to the top by  coloring outside the line. That horse isn’t coming from Vermont. This is Hillary’s time, and while I supported her enthusiastically against President Obama back in 2008, I really no longer give a single damn.  She would probably make a good enough President, if she could bust through the Obama model of opacity and ponderous bureaucracy and lead in a manner that seems or, better still, actually is hands-on and engaged.

Even if she did that, I’m not sure I’ll be interested.  Ms. Clinton has been at the forefront of current events for 23 years and counting, for good and for ill.  Maybe it is just me, but I’m not feeling a rush.  If anything, I’m dreading the next election cycle, the relentless negativity that has become genetically linked with national politics, the endless posturing to niche groups and special interests, and the fear of provoking the same, that all but eliminates productive debate from either side.

Screenshot_9A Cruz candidacy virtually assures the early segments of the campaign will be lively–there’s no telling what will come out of his mouth, and the outrage should be both palpable and engendering of a certain electrical charge that might just awaken people.  Of course, should he emerge from convention season, nomination in hand, we’ll see Cruz dial things way back in a determined effort to win centrist and undecided voters.


Photo I Like summer photos

2015 Summer Wonder #25: Back To The Beach

It rained ALL DAY here today–over 2″ of steady downpour from around 3 am to late afternoon, with occasional relapses into the evening.  I sat around like a lump and wrote, read your blogs, deleted a lot of old email, and had Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Tomato Soup and a corn meal muffin for supper.  1500 words of novel written, too.  Well, re-written from rough drafts–boring stuff there; no one died. My main character ate steak, potatoes, and sourdough bread and a nice grilled baby romaine, naked in a bathtub, chasing it down with whiskey and a good a Belgian wheat beer (that he demanded be served ice cold, much to the horror of his innkeeper)–well, not a Belgian, exactly, since that bathtub in on a partially terraformed frontier planet about as far from Earth as you can get without getting robbed by pirates, or the corrupt Navy that’s supposed to be it’s protector.  But I I digress.  We’re here for a restorative Summer Wonder photo–and after a day like today, there’s really no alternative to turning back to the beach for a traditional bright sunny stroll down the strand.



And About Time Too.

The smiles say it all. This is why I give a damn.

Esme's Cloud

Another step towards civilisation becoming civilised.
Jaque Roberts, left, and her partner of 31 years, Carmelita Cabello, right, show off their marriage license in Austin, Texas. What a beautiful photograph, their smiles say it all.

Jaque Rob

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What? Rain?

This photo looks joyous. In truth, the young lady is surrendering to the inevitable, biding the rain gods to do what they will. The bastards. I don’t like to whine, but–are you kidding me? Less than a month ago, the following article ran in my hometown newspaper. I’ve never met this guy Quigley, but I blame him for what has happened since his little drought warning.


weather sucks



Scalia’s Awesome Massive Marriage Meltdown

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been getting hammered this week, on the losing end of a series of decisions that uphold legislation that runs contrary to his idealogical stance, including upholding the Affordable Care Act and, today, legalizing same sex urlmarriage in all 50 States.  Scalia and his partner, Judge Clarence Thomas, are two of the most ideologically predictable jurists in recent Supreme Court History–they consistently vote their politics, while just as consistently criticizing other judges for doing the same thing.  In writing the minority dissent for the latest decision, Scalia indulged in a massive hissy fit of epic, whiny, sour grapes proportion.  It’s kind of awesome–the link below leads to an article with some of the best quotes, as well as a slate magazine site in which you can enter your name and generate a personalized insult from Justice Scalia.

tumblr_inline_mia9yfpNNg1qz4rgpI’m thinking back fondly to the series finale of Boston Legal, in which hetero-life partners/lawyers Allen Shore and Denny Crane, played by  James Spader and William Shatner, are united in same sex marriage with Justice Scalia presiding and Dick Cheney glowering in the background.  Somebody who knows needs to get that up on youtube.

Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like Photo I Took summer photos

2015 Summer Wonders #24: It’s Raining What?

A big storm blew through town the other day–we’ve had two rainless days in the past two weeks.  I’ve heard of it raining cats and dogs.  I’ve even heard of it raining men, but this is getting ridiculous.


Commentary Quote

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: W.E.B. Du Bois

m-3187One of the great writers and thinkers in the American legacy, the powerful and wonderfully controversial, W.E.B. Du Bois stands tall, his work growing in stature and significance as time passes, in the way certain monoliths seem not to dwindle in the the distance but rather to assert themselves by virtue of scale and prominence in comparison to the lesser things around them.

“I sit with Shakespeare, and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm and arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out of the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed Earth and the tracery of stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn nor condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America? Is this the life you long to change into the dull red hideousness of Georgia? Are you so afraid lest peering from this high Pisgah, between Philistine and Amalekite, we sight the Promised Land?”
—W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk