Sunday, October 31, 2010

A new review.
Now, if I can get permission to get closer...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Others me

Google Reader informs me that someone with my name died today in Florida. At age 40, and so close to my birthday.

The Florida me probably had a time of it if he lived there for any period, as there was another me in that state some time ago. Remember the homeless me who won a cool million from a McDonald's contest? Druggie, woman-beater, me. It must have gotten old after a while.

Back home it was the same, my alma mater sending bills for unpaid tuition fifteen years overdue. Closer inspection showed a more current date and different middle initial, not to mention age. Rent-A-Center wanted their furnishing back as well. Maybe it was the me who just bit it, but probably not, as there are many, many more.

Like the me who diddled some woman who worked in the stationery store. She called me to ask where I had made off to. I could not convince her that it wasn't me me, and to this day I wonder how she described my physical attributes with such accuracy.

Yesterday, the more literary of the two Professor Mes briefly looked at my website. I'm assuming it was him, or perhaps a colleague of his, in which case, he might be advised to watch himself, academia being what it is at times. Again, I'm assuming, as my experience in "publish or perish" mode is as an outsider who has no fear of refused tenure. Impermanence, well yes, to a point.

Let me get that door for me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last week folks were burning brush and mowing with a fury. The last of the grass seed fields were set ablaze (a month late) even if the chaff had not thoroughly dried from intermittent showers and a heavy dew. Bigger rains were coming.

And they came. And yesterday, a large truck came toward me full with ears of sweet corn. It means little to most, but I uttered, “My Lord!”

I’ve been doing a little anticipating as well, and the time has come. The squash have become Big Beuys and are ready to pick.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Up late looking for reasons to not be. Refreshing the radar to see what’s next. We’ve had a few storms pass through in the last 48 hours, and maybe the worst is passed. The power went yesterday, once from lightening for a large area and another time as a branch clipped a line just down the road. It was then I decided to drag out the generator, the extension cords already coiled where they lie from last year. One pull and it fired. Not a small joy. We were ready, and have been. Not that I think everything that could go wrong has and has been remedied, but it’s time I close that window and get on with other distractions within more of my control.

Firstly, if you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to read the last two posts on Thane. Start with yesterday. I’ll not put on a reviewer’s mask here and leave it for you to enjoy on your own terms.

On the queue is something I wish to introduce not for shock value, and instead beg a generosity that I do not recommend things lightly, and although opening myself to a particular pun, additionally assure the reader that my sensibilities run a gamut when it comes to appreciation.
Besides that, poker wasn’t too shabby tonight.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Latest art review

I work on a new tact.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Portland has a motto that is both used with pride and seen as a bane, depending on which side of the concrete and glass one falls on: Keep Portland Weird. And today it didn't disappoint in maintaining that standard.

I was in the check out lane at a Whole Foods downtown when a couple young female zombies got in line behind me. They were buying a vegan, tofu pizza and a couple brews. I couldn't resist.

"I thought zombies liked to eat flesh."

Without missing a beat, the one closest said, "I suppose I could eat human flesh before any other animal's."


How do I know they were zombies? Because, similar to last year's sleeper of a hilarious movie, "Zombieland," the streets of downtown Portland were full of them. Today was the 6th Annual Portland Zombie Walk.

And I had a camera. A lot of them are blurred, but somehow it just doesn't matter.

I have mentioned the blight that has affected local apple crops this year. A wet bloom made for low numbers and the continuing wetness encouraged disease.

This is our neighbor, Tommie, who along with her husband, Peter, own a sizable fruit farm.

The fruit she is holding is a Flower of Kent apple.

Note the heavy russetting. Unaffected by disease,  this is this variety's normal appearance, a trait that sells poorly —make that not at all —in stores.

So why grow it? It was a Flower of Kent that fell upon the head of one Sir Issac Newton.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I know without being told directly to my face that my poker chops are pretty pedestrian, and my telling of exploits surrounding that activity are best left to color. Furthermore, relating a game at Poker Academy draws less interest than my triglyceride count. Still, when one's life is generally punctuated by starting a fire and maintaining it in the wood stove, I'll take any little spark.

I'd say we've seen the last of the kids for a while. Daughter-in-law and grandson headed off to the Big Island today while my son returned south to continue harvesting small plantings with a big yield. I don't expect him to return and will instead join his family when the jobs are done. I can tell you, I was farming the wrong crop in the wrong state, except for the constant state of alarm.

After the airport, a nap and a last good-bye, I set to re-establishing my routine, part of which, lately, has been to make a mid-day stop at PAO to check on the health of the site. As expected, there was barely enough players to keep two cash tables, a couple 6-handed SnGs and a Boot Camp going. However, on room caught my eye.

Lately, one would feel like a high roller should there be a .50/1.00 table available. Usually, a .10/.20 is the most one can play. Today, there was a $2/$4 table going. Problem was: only two players. The rake would be horrendous, as well as the blinds, but it was a 200 BB buy-in, so I sat. I love me some deep stack. And frankly, with my "bastin" nick, I can afford a little variance while waiting for the implied or trap.

I've played both opponents before, one more than the other. The one I had more history with had a stack of about $780; the other fellow, about $650. I knew the first's ranges: min-raise preflop meant a naked Ace or something like KJoff; three times the pot meant huge pair. He also has a tendency to chase and over value his hands post. The other fellow I knew to be a patient TAG. meaning only big hands, AK and up. Short-handed, one has to figure that both players are going to open up a bit.

Ah, screw it. I had both of their stacks with 27 hands. All-in, caught a straight on the turn against the tighty (yes, I sucked out with $100+ in the flop pot before his jam with Kings) and had a flush redraw on a turned Broadway split. Crubs, baby.

You see, while the kids were here, and with little time to play, I had slipped in the ratings from third to second place. And now, I can get back to what needs to get done.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


By the time things settle down of an evening, I don't have much of what is required to post. Working on another art review, did midterm crits at an art school, and son and family are due here in a couple hours.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I went out with my new camera. A greater amount of the learning curve still lies ahead, but two things are evident: I can't use manual focus for shit; and once I learn how to focus for shit, the resolution and image size is so much better than my point-and-shoot, I may very well have to go out next year and reshoot my field burn series.


I saw a Red-tailed hawk gliding over a shopping mall. No meat, yet heat.
Then I met with another older artist and was grateful for the conversation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The fish

See the rope? I came close, so close to keeping this fish. Yeah, it's illegal to keep a salmon on the stretch we were on, and I owed this water a fish. Based on the amount of shoe showing, I'm putting this one at 22 inches. Not huge. Probably upstream a year too early.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Clarity is not my strong suit. (Stating the obvious, although I do it well, is not either.) It was only after imagining that I would still be writing this blog some five years from now, and wondering if I would still have comments from the same faithful readers, that I realized the unintended ambiguity. While I did go fishing today, it was with my buddy, Steve; and we went to our favorite river, not to a farm pond. I’m afraid my grandson will have to wait a few more years before gramps gives him his first cane pole. He still has trouble holding a bottle.

I already have the pole. Actually, the pole is his father’s. My brother, a master rod builder, made it for him, many years ago. So long ago, I wonder if he remembers it.

And yes, I’ll remember to take pictures.

As for today’s adventure, I forgot my camera, but I had my phone. As soon as I figure out how to get the photos from my phone to my computer, I’ll tell the tale, because, as we all know, without pictures, it didn’t happen, especially when it comes to fishing.
And maybe a fishing report tomorrow. I can't wait to take this kid to his first farm pond.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rain forces Kainoa and Grandpa to take refuge in a strange land.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fresh out of the box

I have some reading to do.

EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS Kit

EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm IS Kit

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Our dog has a thing for the garage. Or rather the car. When our garage door opens I can assume by her excitement that she expects to go for a ride. She makes a beeline, and if the car doesn’t move, she’ll lay down behind it, perhaps to insure that it doesn’t move without her inside. Cute, eh?

Since the dog is given to this behavior, DW has made sure she is comfortable if she is to be disappointed by putting a pad and plastic sheet out in the garage. Place the plastic down on the concrete, put the pad on top, and call the dog over to lie down.

And this is how we grill of an evening: me in my chair with a beer, and the dog on her pad with a car. I’ll get up to check the food or go get another beer, and she will not move a muscle. She therefore makes for a good model.
The Set

The Pose

We shot these tonight. We had a similar session the other night when I took the picture of the rig and such (BTW, it’s name is Gert. Has been for some time now and I’ve just not bothered mentioning it here. And the dog’s name is Annie. I may be repeating myself on that one.), but I didn’t have my eyes on right to see the shot. Tonight it was still waiting there.

And there may have been others. Something, anyway.

Friday, October 8, 2010

And it's for sale.

I figured that I could keep the loogies at bay long enough today to get my haircut.
The above is owned by the elderly gentleman who was just finishing up.

"Nice little rig you've got out there."

Jim the barber: "It's for sale. Ten grand plus my ten percent finders fee."

The old guy didn't have his hearing aid in yet heard well enough. "Heck, I've got fifteen in it. May seem like a lot, but that's what I've spent. Done all the work myself."

"Well, if I had that kind of discretionary cash sitting around, I might be tempted." But I don't. Nowhere near.

"Patrick, you're next! How do you want it?"

The older gent had a flat top. I hadn't had a flat top since I cut my long locks last September.

"Give me a flat top!" I said, "I always thought I'd like to have an MGA; you know, the little square back."

Jim asked, "Are you sure? I don't want your wife comin' after me."

"My son owned one of them. We restored it too. Thing about them is the wiring doesn't go to a ground."

"Yeah, she won't do anything but laugh. It's OK."

So Jim set to work, taking the hair close to the scalp in back and the restorer began to go into great detail about an MG's wiring, all of which I had to feign under the noise of the clippers.

"Well, I better get goin'."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

(h)as a way

Not much, you? Still have this cold, although it may be waning. In fact, I’m sure of it. The duration is replacing the severity is all. Even so. Even so.

There’s talk of flu shots this year. DW managed a trip to the city today and mentioned the health food store was full of coughing and wheezing. Not to infer a God in the foxhole scenario, and not certain there’s much more to it than an observation, yet things portend in a tendency sometimes. One gets to frettin’.

Word is we’re in for a winter with all of the trappings, nothing like it in the last fifty years. I’m sayin’ up this way; don’t know about everywhere else, although no doubt there will be ramifications. Not from us, mind you, but that which comes before, and so innocent sounding in the diminutive.

We’ll be ready. We’ve got a good generator and enough power cords to keep the place warm and cold where need be, plus sufficiently lit, barring any one of those 90-foot firs don’t decide to come a-knockin’ of an evening. Even then, we’ve done about as much as we can there too, taking much of sail out of them and still call them trees instead of lumber in waiting.

The winter squash leaves are heavy with mildew even though newer parts of the vine still push new fruit.

Even so.

The urge to get away from it all turns into a temptation to hole up. Unless, of course, one had not come from somewhere else.  A nether-oddity. I say this, largely because of an overwhelming notion this morning that when farmers talk of the weather, it is a poetry of indictment, imagining the damage something with a mind can do.

And so there is a general unease that comes with crossed purposes. One’s enthusiasm does not necessarily ensure that another understands, let alone has expectations met. I believe they call it “Life Moves On,” and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve got a pretty good situation, regardless. That is, I might be better served to recognize the types of hunger in others.

We’re still getting tomatoes, but so is everyone else, so that’s not it. If my timing were impeccable, it would be, if such a thing more than serendipity eased the labor.

You see, it often comes at us obliquely.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I was going to present a poker hand from last night. I requested the history, went through the hands, and decided against it. It was an interesting hand of Stud Hi/Lo in which I could have made more money. Maybe. Now I don't care. It might have something with losing a couple buy-ins. Mental note:

Monday, October 4, 2010


I burned a small box of poetry tonight. I was torn, but it was not mine to keep, let alone read.

So how do I know it was poetry? Because I know the person who wrote it.

When my son arrived a couple days ahead of his wife and child, while unpacking his car, he set aside a shoebox, saying. “We’ll have to have a fire while I’m here.” The box contained letters from his high school girlfriend.

She was a wood nymph, and as such, one did not see her for more than just a fleeting glimpse unless she chose otherwise. Yet, once one encounters such a creature, all one needs is a shadow to know that another one is near.

It may be unseemly to write about this young woman in a manner other than to remark that she was my son’s first love, but parents notice things. We have the advantage of experience, and the memories that coincide, to recognize a demeanor, a carriage, and even a body type that fits into an episode of our own past, and for better or worse, have hopes for the children, or draw conclusions.

“Is it to be a ceremonial pyre, or simply a dispatch?”

“Just burn them.”

We never got around to it while he was here. But to leave it at that would be dishonest, for, as I said before, I was torn.

I remember my first long-term girlfriend. Hell, who doesn’t? And although it did not end any better than while in it, the emotions of it persisted for longer than it lasted. A kind of limbo that allowed us to find ourselves conveniently and mutually drunk one night; and then with the nostalgia sufficiently sated, strangers the next. Again, nothing unusual, and therefore with nothing one can consider magical.

I too wrote love poems back then. Or perhaps passion poems, unrefined quatrains and couplets spurred more by a sense of the unrequited than the taste and smell of intermingled sweat. I knew these were secrets my son and his first love shared, and so I imagined this young woman’s poems as those I did not get a chance to write; and when my son’s visit had ended and the box remained behind, I had choices to consider.

It’s not that he forgot to burn them. We had talked about the contents of the box, their author and the relationship over beers and smokes as we barbequed. It would have been easy to set the box on the coals and close the lid as we carried in dinner. We also talked about leaving them behind as fodder for a story I could write. But he never said that he wanted to keep them. That part of his life was done, resolved, and his place was in the present with his wife and child.

So, it was left to me.

I cannot say that I didn’t peak. But I don’t suppose anyone would believe that I did little more than see that there were stanzas. And I thought again that perhaps they should be saved, but only because I wonder for him what it would be like to have such a box at my age.

I also found old blank checks and financial documents.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Article 115

DW and I both have colds. I cannot tell which one of us is effected the most adversely, she of a tribe who seems to suffer such maladies with an extra degree of expressed severity, my own upbringing repressed as any good WASP. However, I can tell you that I had to correct two typos in the first short sentence. Or maybe I’m a bit out of practice, what with all of the sitting on the porch swatting flies that I’ve indulged the last month. For all of this, I apologize, for I am certain I have offended and ignored.

Or perhaps it is because of the type of employment with which I have recently re-toyed, and not the illness, or the type of reading I have done while incapacitated that my mind has been set with something that occurred many, many years ago.

I was working in a military hospital eye clinic. In those days we took care of nearly everyone who was in the nuclear family of active duty or retired personnel. Children were cut free when of an age. My duties in this clinic were varied: visual acuity exams, visual field exams (extensive and exacting), surgical assistance, and a host of other things. I was well trained within my MOS.

Not surprisingly, I took a certain pride in my acquired skills. Fortunately, I was also recognized for it. When I mapped out a rather extensive and intricate pathology in an eye with the use of a Goldman Perimeter (a precision visual field device), the physicians were at first incredulous at my findings. The dilated exam showed precisely what I had found. A young woman came up from the ER late one night while I was on Watch. I found the most minute scleral tear caused by a brick through her driver side window, and I had the OR and the patient prepped before the on call physician arrived. I knew my shit.

Yet, as anyone knows who has visited the doctor with more non-specific symptoms that may be attributed to any number of causes, much of the diagnostic process is done by a process of elimination. On a physician’s consult, it might appear in the subject line as “r/o diverticulitis” or “r/o vertebral compression” for respectively ruling out a stomach and back ache. A battery of tests, if all goes according to plan, eventually isolates the pathology. Occasionally, no amount of testing finds a cause, and such was the case for the young woman who has been in my thoughts these last days.

I pulled the chart off the top of the stack of those waiting to be seen. The consult read, “15 y/o F, r/o eye probs.” Simple and as broad as that. My job was to do the initial screening, meaning a visual acuity test and short history before the doctor saw the patient. I went out to the front of the waiting room and called the patient’s name. A young woman stood up along with an older woman, a daughter and mother. Both were exceptionally good-looking, and both in a somewhat stereotypical manner. There is no need to go into details here except to note that the daughter could have passed for a somewhat older young lady and the mother was of a stature that one was accustomed to seeing as the spouse of a Naval Academy graduate cum Lt. Commander. They followed me to the screening area.

The daughter had been having trouble seeing the blackboard in school. Not an uncommon complaint. I lit up the eye chart, asked her to cover her right eye with the paddle and read the lowest line she could. Typically we started with lines for 20/100 down to 20/40. She could read none of them. Likewise she could not read the 20/200 or 20/500 line. Yet she walked into the room without assistance. Both she and her mother met this “failure” of the test with low affects, perhaps the mother’s more measured. “Her father and I are getting a divorce.”

“Ah,” says one, “hysterical blindness. She does not want to ‘see’ her parents get divorced, and this is the form of her protest.” Perhaps it is that simple: Her blindness was a cry for others to see what was being done to her so that they might intercede, show her parents the error of their ways, something she was powerless to do herself. Perhaps. Did I mention how absolutely stunning this young woman was? What had she seen that she did not want to see? Or what did she wish to see that she had not been able to accept? All of these scenarios fall into the realm of possibility.

But I am not an armchair shrink. And with this cold, I cannot be certain that what I have put forth is anything more than another of my ramblings, a step from one grassy mound of a tangent to another in a methane-filled swamp. Even now, a better sentence to follow the last than this one has sunk back into the swollen mucosa. I didn’t go to Portland today, so any reviews I write will have to wait a week. It seems a small wonder that I have been able to write at all.

I don’t know what happened to that young lady and her family. I remember the mother’s breath smelled of raw onions, and that did not bother me.

Tomorrow I absolutely must mow the lawn.

Yep. Absolutely.

Job query letter by Hunter S. Thompson