Thursday, July 31, 2008

Feather in the Grass

Tuesday, July 29, 2008. The wind was low, but the feather turned as I was taking its picture - facing north-south to facing east-west.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This represents a small fraction of the lantana that has volunteered itself on the east side of my house.

For the Netflix Que

See also Neil Young at Sundance

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Old Dogs

This one's for you, Brother Dave.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Remember the Bonus Army

This week marks the 76th anniversary of the Bonus Army. This was a group of World War I veterans who marched on Washington, DC, for benefits. They had been promised benefits, but did not receive them. President Herbert Hoover, the spiritual godfather of the current president, called out active duty soldiers to smash the veterans' tent city.

So, the poor treatment veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars have received is nothing new. It has continued into VA denying the effects of Agent Orange following the Viet Nam conflict, to so-called Gulf War Syndrome*, to recent stop-loss measures.

Brother Dave, a veteran of Viet Nam and current veteran's advocate, recommends we read Vets Under Siege: How America Deceives and Dishonors Those Who Fight Our Battles by Martin Schram to commemorate the anniversary of the Bonus Army. Click for a full review of the book.

*Calling something a "syndrome" suggests the symptoms are psychological. In fact, the dominant story concerning Gulf War Syndrome is that there is no known physical cause. As the review notes, Mr. Schram's book makes a good case that the "syndrome" is linked to exposure to chemical warfare agents at various sites in Iraq in the early 1990s.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Required Reading

To See This Clearly, by Maya Stein. Here are the opening lines:
I am no magic trick, no doer of miracles, no water walker.
I am no architect of glory, no layer-on of hands, no angel wing.
I am no weaver of gold, no mythmaker, no parachute artist.
I am no halo of stillness in a downpour.
Trust me, it just gets better.

Idée d’jour

Year after year
   on the monkey's face
    a monkey face.
— Basho