Friday, May 20, 2011

Listen Up

OK.  It was an interesting day in good old downtown Wisconsin yesterday. Yessirree, Bob, the sun was shining the grass was greening and little budding things are showing up on the trees. Makes a man proud to be human, not that I am really a proud guy or anything and the human part, well I question iffen that is a whole lot to be proud of sometimes, but it ain't no never mind one way or another, see, cause it is what it is.

I started the day with a nice big old cup of coffee down at the Moon, which I usually do, seeing that it is half price before 8am and Aron usually plays that old Tin Pan Alley and folky kinda music which you don't hear too much in most other places, so it is an ok deal to me.  Well, normally it is pretty quiet in the morning, Painter Mike will come in and exchange a few words, Peggy will be walking around cleaning up things that really don't need cleaning, see, she has some kind of brain malfunction, which again, ain't no never mind, she just keeps saying good morning to everyone, and keeps picking up things that don't need picking up...see,  she is just cleaning, but if she is in a cleaning mode, you best watch your coffee and newspaper, or if you go to the bathroom at least tell her not to pick up your stuff, cause you're not done, and then she will say "Ok," and leave it alone.
Alot of Bible type folks like to come in and have small little talks, meetings in there, too, which is ok. cause most of them are quiet and they talk about Jesus while getting caffeinated, which I guess helps some, and then they all hold hands and close their eyes and say a little prayer over their Lattes and Espressos, which is mostly not needed, cause the coffee is pretty good in the first place, see.  But yesterday there was a different kind of Christians in there, and they were a little louder than the Latte and Espresso Christians.

These guys, you see, you couldn't tune them out, were a little louder than they should be, as if they were not trying to talk with each other, but to the whole coffee house, like they were preaching on the street, which I wish they were, cause I was talking with Painter Mike and he was a whole lot more interesting and I really didn't want to listen to them, but there they were, loud as all get out.
"Gays, bisexuals, " this guy was saying, " are the lowest of the hermaphrodites... they wish they could breed and take over the world!!" Now, Painter Mike just kinda looks at me and starts grinning, almost laughing, which was a good thing, cause if I heard a bunch more, why, I was likely to walk over and give them a few words out of MY good book, which really wouldn't have set well with Aron, cause he once explained that he sells coffee to all Political/Sexual/Religious persuasions. "Homosexuals are like worms," this guy was saying, much louder than he should, "you can see them in the morning, after the dew, there on the lawn, fornicating with themselves! Worms are both MALE AND FEMALE.....just like homosexuals!!! The LOWEST of all God's creatures!" Which was funny enough that Painter Mike really started laughing, out loud, and then so did I. "Gees," says Mike, I like worms... they're good for your Gardens." Which kind sets me laughing again, just loud enough to have the Bible-thumpers look at us. "Ya," I said, "and worms  can't be the lowest of God's creatures.... they obviously have not met our Mayor."  Now that sets Mike off laughing again and he says,"Well if Gays are like worms... that explains why Brian and Tony have the best gardens in town!" Now we are laughing and looking right at these guys, and finally they just got up and left... but Mike and I kept laughing.  You can hear the funniest stuff if you just listen. Did remind me,though, that I had promised to go up to the Ex's and fix her compost bin. Maybe get some red worms to drop in there, too. Really helps the compost along. And all God's creatures are good.  Some folks just like to listen to themselves too much, is all.

Later in the afternoon I went to Oblios for a pint. They weather was great so they had a nice crowd on the back patio.  The Kelly brothers were there, and Nick, and Joe and Johnny G. Now, it is a good crowd and good weather usually brings out some nice stories and that is what was happening. Until Johnny G got going.  See, Johnny's favorite topic is, well, Johnny. In minutia. How he grew up, who he knew, where he went grocery shopping when he was a kid, where he was when the moon landing took place.... how his great aunt Agnes died of a hernia that was fixed, but not fixed and ... he starts into this story of when he and his wife were at a 'clothing optional' beach down in Mexico and what the weather was like, then, and what they were drinking and what they had had for lunch and how much it had cost..... I had heard this before, and frankly, there was no point to this story, and for crying out loud, why not just call it a 'NUDE BEACH', really, what is this affectation with 'Clothing Optional' anyways.... so I says, "Good thing we don't have 'clothing optional' beaches, Johnny, cause I would hate to see you on one now!"  Johnny kinda looked at me mean, not that I had kind of insulted him or anything, but I had interrupted his train of thought and now he would have to start all over again, which he would, so I ambled into the bar.  See, I was getting this visual about Johnny on a nude beach, and then I started thinking of worms, and, was starting to laugh and  he woulda gotten really pissed if I had started laughing. That wouldn't have been nice.

When I got inside the bar, I run into Ed, who I hadn't seen for weeks.  I thought he had moved to Canada.
Ed wears English Leather cologne. Just a tad too much, not all that bad, but you can really notice it is English Leather.  He has BEEN in Canada, but hasn't really moved yet. I ask him how he feels moving North.
  "Most everyone thinks I have moved North, but it really is South. Well, and of course, East, but Acton is 43 degrees  38 minutes and 0 seconds N and we are at 44 degrees one minute and 29 seconds North... so it really is moving South even if everyone thinks that all of Canada is North!"

So he really hasn't moved, yet.  He still has to sell his condo here.  And pack up stuff.  I guess he has tons of books.  Lot of Arthur Conan Doyle.  He is what they call a "Sherlockian". He is also a Baker Street Irregular....
"It's a world wide group, Jim, that is all about everything Holmes.  You can't just get to BE a Baker Street Irregular.... you have to be NOMINATED from a different, local club... then you are selected, see, and go to New York for the annual banquet, and are given a "Irregular Shilling" it's a great honor!"
That is where he met Dana... in New York at the Banquet.  She is a Sherlockian too.He didn't tell me the latitude of New York. I think he would say it was East even though it is South, too. I didn't want to ask.
 Ed's ex-wife was an alcoholic. She is now dead. One of his daughters died in a car accident and a son committed suicide. He has another son, with a lot of drug problems and another daughter that is doing OK.

I met Ed at the Oblio's Fantasy Baseball League draft  years ago.  I hate baseball. they have about ten teams, each throws in $400 and then they do whatever it is that fantasy baseball leagues do.  I don't care, I hate baseball.  They needed an auctioneer, see, and that is how I came into the deal. Free beer while the draft is going on.... Draft for the draft.  And I can auctioneer! What a Deal!  I have been doing it for seven years.  I still hate baseball. It's a mystery to me.  BUT Ed loves baseball.
"Now, if you are ahead by two runs, in the top of the ninth, and they have a man on second, with two outs, and they have a guy at the plate who hits .254 against right hand pitching, but only .185 against lefties, and you have a rightie pitching who has already gone the whole you bring in a leftie to finish?  Of course you do!"
Ed would talk like that. And I would tell him, again, that I really don't know anything about baseball, but it would be no never mind... and he would be off and running again... unless I could get him to talk about Sherlock.
And during the season, not much chance of that.  Ed loves baseball.  He once made a trip to NY to take in a Mets game AND a Yankeees game.... and go to the Sherlock banquet!!  Boy, did I hear about that trip!

Ed could have retired a couple of years ago, but I think he didn't because .... well.... because.  I think he had just given up on dating and went to a lot of ball games and read alot of books.  Until he met Dana... at the Sherlockian thing.  She likes Sherlock, too.  And Alice in Wonderland.  I told her I had once played the Mad Hatter in a childrens play.... she like me right off. I think that is why she likes Ed, too, a blend of logic and the illogical.  She is ten years younger than he is.  I believe they are really happy.  And why he is moving to Canada.

So last night, I say, "How's Canada working out, Eh?"  .... and he rolls his eyes at me. "Funny you should mention that, Eh, cause, see, most Americans do not realize that, in Canada, 'Eh' has many in, 'Do you agree with me', like an affirmation, or they can mean, 'Eh' as in 'how are you' or just plain, 'eh' like in 'whatever'.  Jim, 'Eh' is the most mis-understood expression in the English Language.  And it is totally different than the 'Eh' that is used in the Upper Peninsula. These are important things, you see!"

It was nice talking with him last night.  He had a special shine in his eyes, he seemed to be walking lighter, his laugh seemed ... well, heartier.  Now, mostly, I will tell you that I don't believe in God, but every once in awhile I get to thinking that well maybe... and if there is...  from worms to Johnny G to Ed and to me.....
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

...... and Ed did not mention baseball once last night.   But he has learned all the words to "Oh, Canada".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

America needs Rich White Potatoes.... not gay spuds.

"Where in the Constitution does it say the fed. government should regulate potatoes in school lunches? It doesn't."

OK... so I catched-the-ball over at
Tengrain's place... which is a pretty cool spot for humor, snark, neat visual thingees and what-nots.  But anyways... it seems that .....there is a

"The USDA wants to limit the amount of white potatoes used in subsidized lunches for cheap, tasty and unhealthy foods like salty tater-tots, french fries, and "potato bars," meaning baked potatoes stuffed with cheese, sour cream, butter, maybe some chocolate, and so on. It's part of a crackdown on excessive starch, and under the proposal, "school cafeterias would have to limit starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas and lima beans to a total of one cup per week for lunch,"  I got that from Gawker.

Well shit&whiskers!!!  For one thing... this could be good... iffen it gets old Michele to actually read the Constitution.  And it seems like a good thing for me, too, cause I really like spuds, and gosh... the SCOTUS has just ruled that not only are spuds a really terrific veggie &stuff... they have just as much rights to run campaign ads as corporations, lobbyists, the Koch Bros. and broccoli.  Wowzers..... I am soooooo glad good Michele will defend the good old White Potato....  le
mmee see here.... spuds=good..... gays=bad

On gay marriage: “This is probably the biggest issue that will impact our state and our nation in the last, at least, thirty years. I am not understating that.” — Senator Michele Bachmann
 "I don't know where they're going to get all this money because we're running out of rich people in this country." -Rep. Michele Bachmann

hmmmmm   rich people good, poor people bad...... and we are running out of rich people

I really am glad Bachmann just wants to get things straight (not gay) and is really concerned about veggies (not crackers).  I'm sorry ms Bachmann..... but listening to you.... just sounds like sour cream.

*.... psst, you gonna eat all those fries, or can I have some.  just asking.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


In the face of The Republican attack on unions and teachers in the state of Wisconsin.... under the guise of balancing the budget... the voters rebelled and Six Republican State Senators now face recall elections this summer. In retaliation, tuesday the State Assembly passed  a bill that would effectively suppress the votes of students, minorities, the elderly and the poor.  They offered no proof that there ever was a problem with voter fraud.  The proposed implementation of the law is estimated to cost $5.7 million.  So much for balancing the budget.  Democrats desperately tried to pass amendments to soft the bill.  They all failed.

you can read full accounts here and HERE and HERE


"Amendment Fails"

by Jessica Lynne Mundt on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:45am
"This is NOT my Wisconsin. Shame on every representative who chose to follow a party line today instead of actually represent the people entrusted in their care. Shame on every representative who chose to enact the nation's strictest voting regulations without a single amendment today.

Thanks to the representatives who care and have tirelessly fought for the people.........

The following are all status updates from Representative Cory Mason, in chronological order. They speak for themselves and for the absolute lack of decency and democracy that took place in our state capitol today.
Dem amendment to require administration to find a way to pay for voter ID bill without raiding transportation fund; amendment fails.
Dems offer amendment to require DMV's to have evening and Saturdays in every county. Now that we are requiring people to have a DMV issued ID to vote, we should make sure people have access to DMV offices. Many counties have no DMV office or are only open once a month; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to require mobile DMV stations on college campuses if we aren't going to have offices in every county open at night or on weekends; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to have mobile DMV stations in high poverty areas; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to clarify what it means to have the name on your ID "conform" to the name on the voter rolls; i.e. John F Smith in the ID versus John Smith on the voter rolls; amendment fails.

 Dems offer an amendment to make it clear on the DMV form that they can get the ID free of charge; amendment fails.

Dems offer an amendment that moves the deadline to clarify the provisional ballot to 10 days after the election; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to address absurdity in the law: you need photo ID to get a birth certificate AND you need a birth certificate to get a photo ID; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to ensure that the homeless and those in transient housing can still vote without proof of residency; amendment fails. Stone, author of the bill says homeless people will now have 'responsibilities' to exercise their right to vote. He also concedes he doesn't know if DOT will give an ID with the address of a public library, as the homeless currently do. Wow.

 Dems offer an amendment to inform the voter if their vote has been deemed provisional. How else are voters to know if they have to correct their ballot; amendment fails.

 Vruwink offers amendment to exempt towns from this bill; amendment fails. So much for local control.

 Dems offer amendment to remove requirement that voters mail in a copy of their photo ID when they vote by mail; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to waive fees for secondary ID's to get DMV voter card to avoid poll tax; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment that out of state license is acceptable form of ID if corroborating ID of current WI address; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to clarify that if license is suspended revoked it is still valid for the purposes of voting; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment that says employers have to give 3 hours off of work to get to one of these rarely open DMV centers; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to require clerks to keep voter lists up to date so that you right to vote is based on you proving your qualification as a voter NOT on the potential mistakes in a voter list; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to keep expired ID's valid back to the last NOVEMBER general election; amendment fails.

 Dems offer an amendment to allow for Student ID's to be valid ID's for the purposes of voting; amendment fails.
Dems offer amendments to allow affidavit to be signed verifying someone's identity if they don't have proper documentation on Election Day; they all fail.

 Dems offer amendment to restore straight ticket voting; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to allow voters to vote without photo ID if they object to photos of themselves being taken for religious reasons; amendment fails.

 Dems offer amendment to all people with disabilities to be required from having to sign the voter roll if a disability prevents them from doing so; amendment fails.
Dems offer amendment to give people with disabilities the opportunity to vote with other forms of government issued ID's; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to make it illegal to bribe someone with anything of value in exchange for signing a recall petition. Kensoha bartender was caught on tape trading shots for signatures. Amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to allow voters to stay on absentee list if they miss one election; amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to require county clerks to post results online community by community and ward by ward on election day. This would avoid clerks magically finding more than 14,000 votes two days after the election in a way that changes the outcome of a statewide election. Amendment fails.

Dems offer amendment to allow any ID issued by any level of government to be valid for the purposes of voting. It will save the state at least $7 million on the cost of the bill; amendment fails.

Voter suppression bill passes 60-35.

If this breaks your heart like it does mine; if this angers you beyond imagination like it does me; if you are ready and willing to fight and never shut up, never back down to keep basic rights and privileges afforded to us by this country like I am, then please share this. Don't let this night be forgotten. "


Monday, May 16, 2011

While I was waiting... for something of interest

So....... Huckaberry is NOT running..................

.... and the white rabbit  newt is..

 ..and I was waiting for something of interest..... and I found it!!  Lawrence Ferlinghettis is 92 and still writing,,,, thank you very much!!

I Am Waiting

I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting
for someone to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep through the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped’ onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to ‘be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for the American Boy
to take off Beauty’s clothes
and get on top of her
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am waiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder

Lawrence Ferlinghetti


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