Thursday, June 30, 2011

Animals 2

Very sick kitty. Very sick. Pretty all-consuming for the time being.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Nothing too exciting, actually.

There a pair of California Quail on the place again this year. I'll be watching for feral cats.

Speaking of hunting, the Gray Digger seems to have packed up and left. Either that or the bait finally got it. Or an owl. Or a cat. There are cobwebs on one of its entrances.

A pair of ring necked doves has been seen in the area, including our driveway. Odd this far north.

Today I flushed out a Coluber constrictor (Northern Black Racer) when I was weed-whacking. Too fast to catch.

The pond is full of some sizable tadpoles. I'm guessing a couple varieties of tree frogs, as some of the adults are bigger than others. One type I see around a lot. The other may be new to the area since I have been keeping water in the pond year-round. I might have to capture one and do a closer examination.

Half of what must be the front line of the Scio High School football team put up hay in our barn for the mules.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Coast

Pacific City, to be exact.

DW and I celebrated 13 years together a couple weeks ago. We had made plans to make this trip then, but a stomach bug first took DW out of commission, and I followed shortly. The vows held.

The hotel we stayed at was nice, and they wanted us to have a good time. 

We took several walks on the beach, making sure to catch last light.

Yet, I cannot recommend staying as close to the beach as we did, for folks younger than us stay on after dark and whoop it up for several hours.

Still, morning brought another walk and a chance for me to use my 75-300mm lens.

The big rock in the water is called Haystack Rock.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I'm broaching good manners here, I know. Unseemly. Granted, it has been a while since I was asked how much we paid for our farm or what kind of pay a writer makes, so I'll move from the tangent to the theme.

Tuesday was Pub Poker. The usual suspects, although many of the regulars were not there. It's summer, and the numbers dwindle. After all, it is not Vegas, and, aware the sun is still shining, most folks would rather enjoy it while they can, for the rainy season will be here again before you know it. Plus, maybe there's something in recreational players that says poker should be played after dark.

We had fourteen runners. I usually get there early and eat a sandwich in the rig while I wait for folks to start showing up. When they do, I mosey up to the door and hang out with the folks grabbing a last cigarette. One of these smokers was holding three lighters between his fingers. Sticking the cig in his mouth, he uses one lighter as flint to ignite another that only provided butane. Comments were made. He provided justifications. It was remarked that he had walked off with someone's lighter the previous week. Chuckling, he admitted such but did not offer to hand it over this week.

The duration of the game was short, due more to the few players than the time between hands. A lot of chatter as people catch up, gossip and pontificate. The conversation included the employment lines at the cannery, the lines more clusters, but plural in that they were in place two days. It was said that folks camped in the parking lot the night before the first run on applications for the 300 slots available. I had seen the first day's group and estimate there were that many waiting for the three months of work that would be offered.

The guy who won Tuesday night's game is unemployed. The $30 certificate will provide a few meals at the Chinese restaurant that hosts the game. Now, you are most likely thinking that $30 has in no way been covered by the fourteen players, let alone pay for the bartender and general overhead. I know I was, so when I was handed my $15 certificate for taking second, I sought out the owner and handed it over.

"You want to eat?"

"No." I thanked her for her generosity, told her how grateful we were just to have a place to play poker, and that I would be happy to accept the prize when the size of the group grows in the autumn (next week is the last game until September). Perhaps  having alreadyworked out the numbers, she did not try to hand the piece of paper back to me, but did counter:

"Next time, I remember. I make you sweet-sour pork you like."

I do not particularly care for that dish.

On the way home I began to think that I had perhaps made a cultural no-no.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wandering around

The estimated one hour for service turned into the anticipated three. That is why I took my camera to town.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Tolerance

Not all that certain pearls are considered gems, though minerals, chemicals,
physics make stones. Sometimes the experts make finer distinctions
the ogler might overlook by all that's shiny. Likewise, loud or deep-fried
food. Yet, as decoration, the pearl needs no fine point, sharp edge, with its savage
beauty farmed an argument for the softer parts in this imperfect life observed.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I'm excited for MemphisMojo, getting deep in the Old Fogeys Have-at-It Tourney in the WSOP. Shame that Grump, that comparably spring chicken of a whippersnapper takes it hard on the chin by some guys in Depends. Whether it happens this year or not, both of these fellers stand a good chance of taking one of these down. Mark my words.

Of course, after my last couple days, words may not be my strong suit(e).

This piece measures approximately 5' x 12'. It is made with wash clothes that have been formed with an acrylic gel.

Its title is "One Quatrain," although, as one might expect, can be configured any number of ways.

The abstract shape as a whole doesn't do much for me Perhaps as some sort of collection of forms, like insects, then an arrangement like this might work; yet, I do prefer the first one more as it supports the notion that a poem on the page is as much a visual experience as it is literary.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Phases of fruition

Iran? Really? I am leery of ingratiating gestures, regardless of where they originate. Just thought I'd put that out there.

OK, closer to home:

The guy who stands by the bridge with the "work wanted" sign is still out there every day. Today, he was sporting shorts.

For the last week or so, maybe two, there has been another sign next to where he stands. Depending on the progress up the road a piece, it has notified drivers that road crews are making the south end of First Avenue up to par with the north end. Us outside-of-towners have been thrown a bone, I suppose. Or the city likes us coming in to shop. Not that there's anywhere else within fifteen miles, and we'd still have to take the same road. Anyway, they finished today, stripes and everything, right up to the north side of the bridge, the edge of town and county demarcated by the river. It's pretty. The road.

The river is quite picturesque as well,  if a bit high with the snow pack making its way down. And judging from the number of vehicles parked, they're either catching or hoping. I haven't heard much, and I'm inclined to wait another month or so. Still, I can't say dropping a line regardless hasn't crossed my mind.

There is some fishing line packed in my bag for tomorrow. That's all I'll say for now, except that I'm about to shift gears for a couple days. There will be pictures.

And I really wish I had something of substance to show you of the garden. I did get the basil in the ground and the spuds are mounded to near perfection. I'd take pictures but heck, I showed better ones two years ago. Gimme a few weeks. We'll see.

I sat on that grey digger squirrel a few hours the last couple days. Got caught up on my sleep is about all I accomplished. Hope it has a nice couple days in my absence.

You too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

When puns go wrong

This end goes into the compost pile. No other types of piles should be probed with this apparatus, which measures 24" long. Just not recommended.

Anything over 110° is good. 130° is preferred. 150° speeds things along nicely.

Believe me, I understand waking up after a good night's sleep and feeling feisty like it's your birthday or something. Those times are rare, and you want that feeling to linger, so it's quite natural to start thinking of poking around. Hey, who am I to judge? Just be safe.

Monday, June 13, 2011

After an interuption

Well, that stomach flu that DW had got passed and I've been asleep for about 40 hours of the last 48. As of this morning, anyway. I could still sleep, but things need tending. Just the way it is. I should be right as rain come morning.

The flea beetles wasted no time finding the mustard greens. That field has been fallow for two years, nipped down by the neighbors' llamas. Can't imagine how those bugs showed up so fast, but they did. And I've mixed up a batch of Pyganic to welcome them.

I've piled more dirt on the potatoes. One more pass oughta do it. 

Two front-end bucket loads of mule shit on the compost pile. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have a cooking pile again. It don't take much, do it? But I have to find some way to get excited about mowing the lawn again tomorrow. What? It's been about a week? Maybe less.  Anyway, a layer of clipping on top of the mule shit from today, and by the weekend I'll be monitoring the temperature. Here's hoping I get a 150° right off the bat. Remember kiddies, if your pile reaches 170°, it's time to turn it!

Let's see, what else?

The tomato cages have been pulled out of the tall grass and bed straw, more wishful thinking at this point, but it'll give me an opportunity to do some weed-whacking around a big thistle I have plans for.

Oh, and the tansy in town is just coming into bloom, meaning I have about two weeks to conduct my search and destroy mission out in the back ten acres.

And how could I forget? Two adult Barn Owls and one juvenile  in the lean-to. Disturbed them a bit when I was bush-hogging out there today, but they didn't fly off into the firs, I reckon because I stayed mounted.

And not a single vole to be found in all that mowing.

Now I'm sitting here wondering if I closed all the gates.

Almost certain I did.

Guess I better put on some boots.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Don't know if that's even close to the proper word, perhaps too much of a negative connotation, given a general predisposition. I could look it up to see, find the etymology (if humbug, entomology), but (again, given) I can't say I really care that much. We'll chalk it up to something akin to Russia and now the Ukraine, most likely bots, the inordinate number of hits from the UK seeking information on a certain moth.

That moth has decreased in numbers over that last few years out in our fields. It could be a good thing, a testament to my vigilance at eradicating their food source, or something more ominous. Don't know, and therefore, as with so many other things I could hazard an ivory-towered-desk-chair guess at, I won't waste your time.

Today is rather special, believe it or not. DW and I have been married for thirteen years. I am choosing to call it "Lucky 13" even though she has a stomach virus.  We had planned an overnight to the coast but will content ourselves with a movie and some popcorn on the couch. We've rescheduled.

Besides, it's drizzling. Good for the lettuce I planted yesterday, but the nightshade family of veggies are beginning to look like they must surely feel: neglected.

So, everything but the basil is in the ground. There's a small area at the end of the cucumber row for it. When it's ready. Everything in its own time. Even when it's late.

Meanwhile, I await a new review to be published; a job letter is close to its final draft stage; and I haven't forgotten about that fucking Gray Digger (California Ground Squirrel, Ken).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'll be back

I try to come home with a story each time I play pub poker. Yes, more often than not it's a bad beat that I drag back with me like an angry cat still attached to my leg. Tonight is different.

I knew I would get called, soundly beat, and, as has become my habit, refused the re-buy. C, with sad eyes, said, "I don't like it when you don't re-buy." Fifteen runners tonight, and therefore a quieter group. Perhaps I should have taken advantage of that and stayed.

Perhaps my quotient for patience was exhausted. The gray digger squirrel is still under the pump house. I pulled up a chair downwind twenty yards with the 20 gauge loaded with #4 shot and tried to enter its sense of time. But the wind had a chill for what I was wearing, and I began to nod off after an hour or so.

Late night addendum: tripling up on PA in 50 hands ain't too shabby.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just like I need a haircut, it's Tuesday

The cats decided my ass made for a good springboard this morning. That and the same sinus thing I went to bed with last night, and I clocked five hours. The dreams were pretty cool. Very interestingly shaped wind instrument, not phallic in any way, so not really clear on just how one manipulated a sound from it. Not even certain I knew how to play it. But I was sittin' in.

Oh, I could riff.

Time to break out the circle hoe. Little weeds will otherwise catch up with the spuds that are starting to show. I'll also move the starts out of the greenhouse to let them harden off a bit before transplanting them.

Reminds me of my mid-teens.

There's a picture. I'm guessing we'd only been in town a couple months, maybe a month or so into the wrestling season, this judged by attire and build. The farm girls were ready while, advertising that I was,  I was far from it; and the farm boys had something to prove, which they did, for a short while. This is what she asked: "Are you afraid of fucking a girl with bigger thighs than yours?" I was neither distracted or deterred and took Conference.

Oh yeah, I just remembered that my favorite warm up stretch was the Hidden Lotus. Now it all makes sense.

I'll try not to talk in the chair.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Without my headphones

Some days it's Russia; others it's China; and today it's Iraq. Light green in my google stats. I could speculate, assume the glitch is a hidden message.
Do you hear voices?
Are they friendly spirits?
Nothing up my sleeve.  Presto!

So, when I read a salient point I just wrote posted elsewhere anonymously...
How does that make you feel?
In truth, I have grown impatient.
With truth?
That too.

The dead mole has disappeared from my truck bed.

Define nuance.
Use it in a sentence.
More so that you don't miss it when others use it.

Six hours on a mower will do that to you.

Mule shit steaming on the compost pile is a reality check.

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Sculpture

"Maquette for a Selection of Poems Intended to be Read Aloud,
and Which Have Titles Consisting Solely of Proper Nouns"
(chewing gum and composition notebook)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Plowing ahead

I'm reading a twitter feed from Pauly as he covers a HU match between Chan and Hellmuth. Hellmuth doubles up with two clubs in his hand, two on the flop and a fifth on the turn. This against Chan's flopped two pair, and I wonder Hellmuth's reaction: was it one of joy at the good fortune, or was it smeared with greasy hubris? Not wanting to jump to conclusions, for admittedly I see little more than edited characterizations, I asked. I don't anticipate an answer, and so may very well have to leave it to my presuppositions.

But this isn't the way I wanted to start out this post. Yes, with a bit of poker-speak, but instead of pulling that old saw of poker and life any further, I'll quickly jump to the second and third avocations of old: farming and art.

The rainy weather persists, although there is promise of a few warmer days in the near future. Still, I believe that for the fourth year running, the temperatures will not get warm enough to grow certain crops like the large-sized varieties of tomatoes, and winter squash may be out of the question as well. Just to name two. Being no longer so fully engaged with the soil was a good fold.

If we get a dry day, I may be able to mow the lawn again. It needs it. I fantasize a thicket of Japanese Maples, torso-less ballerinas; their crimson undulations block out the sun from six inches on above the ground.

Which brings us to a change in attitude about seeing ideas and images from ten years ago so warmly accepted when now offered by another. Someday I might not even need mention it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On Tuesday

A crow tried to steal the dead mole from my truck bed.

The un-shelled dry roasted peanut had three chambers instead of the more usual two.

The salmon I smoked Sunday tasted wonderful but the texture suffered from freezer storage.

I chewed quite a bit of gum with a purpose in mind.

Both the World Series of Poker and the Venice Biennale got underway.