link video

Unexpected Sunday Bliss: Joy Division

Oh, the bass of it!  I didn’t wake up this morning expecting to listen to an old Joy Division album–things just sort of happened.  I was listening to Radiohead, and it just sort of struck me.   To be honest, I hadn’t thought much about this band for a long while, so cranking it up, on vinyl,  while my wife does her morning run was an unplanned, unexpected–but not unknown–pleasure.


Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures.

Commentary link Photo I Like Yinzerism/Pittsburgh Advocacy

Is Pittsburgh The New Austin?


Clickhole poses the question, making a compelling argument:–1227

…but no, gentle readers, Pittsburgh is neither the new Austin nor next Portland.  Those places were just plain old rough drafts for the final, perfected product.

Commentary link

Shakepeare & Company–The Center of The World

Photo By Craig Finlay

Vanity Fair Magazine has a great article on what might be the greatest book store in the world.  I can’t say for sure–I’ve been to City Lights in San Francisco, Powell’s in Portland, and Rizzoli in New York City, but I’ve never been to Paris.  I’m a book fetishist at heart–as fond of old volumes for their texture and scent as I am for what might be in them, and an absolute fiend for vintage pulp sci-fi paperback cover art.  We have something like 10,000 books in our house, most of them on shelves but quite a few in boxes, waiting for their shot at daylight.  Shakespeare’s gleams in the foggy distance like a beacon, a warm hearth  in the murk.  Someday….



Of course, Shakespeare’s is and was much more than a bookstore–think of it as an oasis for aspiring writers, heavily laden with a memories of Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and their beat brethren as well as earlier, even brighter luminaries like Hemingway, Pound, Fitzgerald, Stein and Eliot in their day–and a host of others before, betwixt, and after them.

Rather than reinterpret what has been said so well elsewhere, I’ve collected some links and photos of Shakespeare and Company, its owner, its history, and its place in the world as a literary mecca.  I encourage you to indulge.

Shakespeare & Company: The Story is on the Shelves


link video

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

I try to use social media to augment my life, rather than dictate it. It’s been easy cutting way back on facebook, twitter fries my brain, and it is my intention to be the second to last person on the planet without a smart phone.  My wife will be the actual last.

Commentary link

Join The Fight!

Cable companies want to slow down (and break!) your favorite sites, for profit. To fight back, let’s cover the web with symbolic “loading” icons, to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like, and drive record numbers of emails and calls to lawmakers.  Are you in?


Commentary link Yinzerism/Pittsburgh Advocacy

Pittsburgh: They Know How Awesome We Are In Austrailia

“Pittsburgh has gone from rustbucket city to thriving metropolis.”

STEEL is forged into the very identity of Pittsburgh.

The former industrial powerhouse’s American football team is named The Steelers, and at one stage the city produced one-third of all of the steel in the United States.

Pittsburgh was staunchly blue collar, with a strong manufacturing workforce engaged in well paid jobs.

Then everything fell apart.

link Poetry

The Colorado Independent: News Poems

I’m continually scouring the internet, looking for poetry to roll around in like one of those crazed grizzlies on Kodiak Island loll about in rotting whale flesh–intoxicated by the joy and sensory overload of sustenance, bounty, excess.  I found that The Colorado Independent is doing a series on poems inspired by the news–don’t think about it, just check it out. 

With more to come, there are already a couple of really great pieces, especially this one, presently the most recent entry.

And while you’re there, check out this:
David Mason, the son of Colorado natives, is a literature and creative writing professor at Colorado College and the state’s poet laureate. He grew up in Washington state, lived overseas for many years and moved to Colorado to teach in 1998, determined to write something that anchored him in his people’s landscape. Mason’s 2007 verse novel, “Ludlow” (Red Hen Press), is 600 stanzas of poetry about fictional characters’ experience of the Colorado Coal War of 1913-1914. It’s also a meticulously reported journalistic study about coal miners’ struggle against the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, and the bloodshed and heartbreak that culminated in the state-led attack on the strikers, their wives and children 100 years ago this week. The book has inspired an opera by composer Lori Laitman. Mason recently spoke with Colorado Independent editor Susan Greene.

link Photo I Like sheer awesomeness

My Parents Were Awesome (Well, not my parents, but…)

Here’s a Found Summer Photo I can actually source.  I lifted it from a cool as cucumbers tumblr page called My Parents Were Awesome.  Sadly, my parents were not awesome–they took us on vacation in October because the crowds were shorter–visiting every restored Colonial Village from Saint Augustine (we had time to tour the fort, but not to actually step on the beach–mom hated sand) to Black Creek Village, Ontario.  I’ve seen more women in bonnets demonstrating spinning wheels than I care to admit.  Maybe the couple below would adopt me.


“Don’t Sneak”–a great story from NPR

The entire StoryCorps program is pretty damned awesome.

Commentary Journal link Uncategorized

I Have A Tumblr Page

Well gawl-ley, Sgt. Carter.
Don’t remember signing up, but there it is…see the link right—here:
I reblogged a funny picture of a dog in a marijuana field.
I learned what a gif is.
I posted one of those.  It’s really funny, too.  I’m dizzy with a sense of accomplishment.
It’s been a technological whirlwind.

It’s been a busy day.
I follow an arty tumblr page by someone called Alicia Crider.  There’s a lot of tasteful nekkidity on it, but it’s art so it’s okay and I should be fine because I don’t go to church.  I had a big crush on a girl whose last name was Crider for a day in 1986.  I met her in a diner the day the USS Challenger crashed.  We both cried.  I smoked one of her cigarettes and fell in love with her even though I had a very pretty, very nice girlfriend.  That night I realized that I couldn’t recall the girl’s first name, I’d been so busy repeating her last name so I could look her up in the student directory.  Not that I would have done that.  It wasn’t Alicia, though.  That much I’m sure about.  There weren’t any Alicias in western Pennsylvania in 1986.  At least, not that I knew.