Monday, August 28, 2006


Now that it's clear that the 'killer' was not really the killer (surprise, surprise), will the media get back on the story that was happening when this non-story 'suddenly' came up?

For those of us with short memories, it had something to do with a judge ruling that Bush is a criminal.


BTW - Nice work, Karl.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

dog days

None of my blog buddies seem to be posting much these days. I keep checking and nothing new appears. C'mon, bloggers, get with it.

Here in sunny, hot Portland (on its way to breaking the record for most-90-degree-days-in-August), it's been a busy time with work stuff. Fortunately, it's going well, and, I must say, sitting in my computer dungeon knocking out code for six or seven hours (with occasional breaks to talk to the dog and - amazingly - the still-alive cat) makes for a darn satisfying lifestyle.

This morning, I built a list of about six chores in the neighborhood, and one by one, ticked them off - all before 10:30. In the great film 'My Dinner With Andre', Wallace Shawn has a lovely speech where he says that doing that - making a list of little things to do and then accomplishing them - is one of the great pleasures in life, and he asks for nothing more than that. None of them were earthshaking in importance, but there is a certain pleasure in the sense of having some control in your life.

The final activity was taking the dog for a romp in Gabriel Park, a nearby paradise of little trails, athletic fields, trees and open fields. He was thrilled and I was happy to stroll along and enjoy the walking and the quiet.

Then I came back home and Karen and I did a little weeding and planting in the yard. It's starting to really warm up - supposed to be 93 later this afternoon. I have about 5 more plants to plant, then I'll get cleaned up and bike over to the house of some friends, who are having a summer party. Karen is not feeling well - in fact, she just walked by and said she's going upstairs to lie down. We have out-of-town family with us, from this evening thru Monday, so this is a lull before a lot of activities.

We have this one sheltered alcove in our yard, under some big trees, where we have lawn chairs permanently set up. I sat there for about a half-hour, listening to the Saturday NPR shows, just looking out at our trees and yard. It was so peaceful, so green, so soothing, and there is so much food in my local Safeway.

And so much of the rest of the world is exactly the opposite.

And Greenland is melting.

But the cat still lives, quietly resting at my feet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

well done, again, Karl

It has been pointed out that the current issue of Time magazine has 35 words devoted to the judicial ruling that Bush has violated the Constitution, and 1109 words on the JonBenet 'killer'.

Here's a cartoon that sums up how I feel.

The first rule of magic is 'direct their attention away from where you are managing the trick, and you can get away with anything.' I bow my head in admiration for The Master. Too bad he's on Their side.

Friday, August 18, 2006

and then, the phone rang...

Every software developer knows the feeling - you receive an email or a phone call from a client that you haven't heard from in a while.

Invariably, it's one of two things - either word that they have more stuff they want you to do (yea!) or they have found some unexpected bug that needs to be fixed (darn!). When it's a phone call, it's almost always the second.

My cell rang a short time ago and a client identified himself. His message: his staff just got back from using a handheld data-collection application I wrote, and ... ... ... ... when they got back into the office to bring the data over to the desktop database ... ... ... ... it worked perfectly.

He just wanted me to know. I appreciate that.

Meanwhile, have you watched that 3-part BBC documentary referenced below? It's really worth your time.

Meanwhile, Maisie is still with us. She still shows enough normal behavior (grooming, asking to go out, nibbling - very little - her food, and purring when cuddled). She is amazingly skinny, and generally lethargic, but we just can't bring ourselves to call an end to it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Maisie's last night

Yes, Maisie has hung in there, even though, back in June, the vet thought she wouldn't survive our being gone for two weeks,when we went to Spain.

She has been slowly but surely declining and is now little more than fur and bones. She pretty much stopped eating a couple of days ago, and just lies on her side, breathing quietly. Karen and I decided that this is the end, and are planning to take her to be euthanized tomorrow afternoon.

This has been a marvelous cat, my friends - smart, affectionate, and a good companion to Zack the dog.

She will be very much missed around here.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

can't wait for this...

great Greg Palast column

here - as always, the venality of Bushco shines thru. As Ed Schultz often says, all you need to know about the Republicans is "they think you're stupid."

Monday, August 14, 2006

seen on 'Daily Kos' this morning

Another classic phrase to describe our Government's policies: 'The War on Liquids'.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


So, while our government is confiscating mouthwash and toothpaste from air travelers from Boise to Grand Island, Nebraska, don't forget about this.

It's all a matter of priorities, folks.

Friday, August 11, 2006

last night in Manzanita this summer

Just had a fine dinner at Wanda's Cafe, in Nehalem - 11 of us altogether. Now catching my last WiFi-at-the-Beach before heading back to the house. Tomorrow morning we pack up and head back to Portland.

There is still a little glow in the western sky, above the ocean, while, overhead, the night darkness is broken by a few stars. The eternal dull roar of the surf continues. See you next year, Inshallah!

Airline travel - the Final Solution

Naked passengers.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

a rather unusual day

Lounged around the house in Manzanita this morning, while we tried to figure out alternatives for getting Dylan back to Portland. Unfortunately, our initial plan fell thru, when Karen's cousin bailed on the weekend.

Eventually, it appeared that the only reasonable thing to do was for me to drive him back. We left town around 12:30 and made record time back to hot, dry Portland. I spent a couple of hours watering, talking to the animals, doing a little laundry, and assembling other things on my list, to bring back to the beach.

I had considered spending the night there in my normal bed (much more comfortable than the one at the beach house), but, around 5 pm, decided to go for it. Fortunately, most of the traffic at that point in the afternoon was Portland-bound, and I zipped back to Manzanit, arriving in time to have dinner with Karen, Sylvia and Barbra, and even go for a little bike ride along Ocean Avenue, at sunset.

It's now after 9 pm, and there is still a hint of yellow and green in the darkening sky, while the white noise of the ocean bathes my auditory senses. I'll sleep well tonight.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

it doesn't get much better than this

Sitting on a bench a block from the ocean, at Manzanita, grabbing a WiFi signal from one of the motels in the neighborhood.

Sunny, clear, and 70 degrees, and the world at my fingertips, as long as my battery hold out.

My mother-in-law, who fell and broke a major bone here a couple of years ago, is with us, and walking beautifully. She is an inspiration, at 96.

We have many Portland friends here in Manzanita, and are continually running into them. For example, about the time I typed 'sitting on a bench', above, a couple of friends strolled by. We have two social engagements planned for this evening - cocktails with Kim and Dave, and a dessert pot-luck with the rest of the crowd.

It's almost enough to make you forget the ills of the world.

Finally, here's a shout-out to Shirley and Joe, in town very briefly for Joe's Dad's funeral. They head back to Florida yesterday, but managed to set up a sushi lunch at our old Enron-days hang-out, with Duffbert also present. Took me back to those halcyon days of 2000, when we were all paper-millionaires. Fortunately, the sushi is still delicious. Some things CAN be depended on.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I've been reading this guy's blog for a long time, but this is the most pessimistic bit of thinking I've seen yet. If true, it's Apocalypse Now time.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

danger, Will Robinson...

Well, it's officially August now, the traditional time of year for world wars to begin.

Given armies on the move, 'mistakes' upon 'mistakes', inflamed media, long memories, desperate people, and impotent leaders, and all you need to add is the final spark, to cause one side to commit an absolutely irrevocable move.

Is it time to stockpile rice and beans?

There's the macro level. Now the micro level.

Maisie has pretty much stopped eating. We are discussing putting her down, either tomorrow or Friday, before we leave for a week. She has lasted much longer than the vet originally predicted, and we are almost at the point where declining 'quality of life' is really apparent.

Everything in the world is looking grim today.

Maybe coffee will help - hey - I should stockpile that, too!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just sayin'...



Republican November battle plan continues

If you are afraid that you can't win elections based on the traditional 'let the voters decide' method (i.e. democracy), the next best thing is to make sure that people who don't like you can't vote. It's that simple.