Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Earn Rice with Word Power

What is scrofulous worth in grains of rice? Who knows. Check this out. I think it is legitimate. Words for rice for poverty stricken folks.

From the web site:

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Watch Your Undercarriage!

From time to time, advertising does yield up (unintentionally) some pretty sage advice. For instance, this from a brochure I am working on:

Prevent large foreign objects from becoming entangled in your undercarriage.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fox News Porn

Made the rounds last week. Maybe you have seen it. The Fox News Porn video.

Weekend Round Up

My wife Jenda makes this killer trifle. Feast your eyes. And one of the best things about the trifle are leftovers ... leftover rum, Godiva chocolate liquer (sp?). With the help of leftovers, I have thankfully maintained a steady buzz since Thursday.

Got Naomi Klein's new book in at the library, and Greg Palast's latest as well. Either one sure to put me in the dark place, but informed in the dark place is better than ignorant in the dark place.

Finally, discovered (again thanks to my wife Jenda) a little record shop down by Kent State called Spin More Records. A nice guy there named Brando burned a bunch of tracks from old vinyl to CD for me -- 80's stuff that I have not found anywhere on disc: Aztec Camera, Let's Active, Water Walk, Triffids. Ah, those were the days my friend.

P.S. This week's Keith (see Gallery) looks like a cousin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I revised this post based on R.J's take. I think he is right (see below.) Rudyasferatu.

I couldn't put my finger on it until now ... Rudy has always reminded me of someone ... same gnarly ass comb over and everything

Animals in the News

Squirrel crisps in Wisconsin. And Andrex the Wee in Britain.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Study Shows 'Mericans Reading Less

RIF ... Reading is Fundamental, or so we used to think.

This can't be true? American's reading less?

With hot stuff like this? How can it be

Friday, November 16, 2007

Boys in Swooping Haircuts are Bringing Me Down

taking pictures of themselves oh no! ...

so says The Format. Wow, here is a band, relatively new from what I gather, that plowed right into my heart. Dog Problems, their second and most recent album is just fantastic. (Not so in love with their first) Check out Dog Problems samples where you can .. lots of different clips on Youtube ... varying quality. Snails, Dog Problems, On Your Porch are wonderful tracks. Such damn fine lyrics.

Oddly enough I stumbled onto them when I was looking for kids tunes on They have a track called Does Your Cat Have a Mustache on a compilation CD and the song is unbelievable. Changes melody, tempo about four times. Rare for a pop song where I come from.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Riffing on Pup Part II

What’s in a name? No end of fun for someone like me. (You should see me chase my tail) Lately, I have been making up regal British sounding names for Otty.

Lord Ottimer of Doo

Ottington Sedgewick

Ottimus Bandersnatch

P.S. Finally taught him to speak last night -- using carmel corn. Maybe now he will have some opinion on all this name game stuff.

Ooo Ooo That Smell

My smell memory is extremely powerful. More than touch, image, sound, smells call up moments, places, moments in those places, more forcefully than any other sense.

Now and then I get a whiff of some kind of sagey/butterscotch smell I associate with the hills in El Granada, CA and it drives me crazy. I have to stop where I am and wander around rubbing leaves then smelling my fingers trying to indentify the source. And nothing makes my heart pound like ocean/beach smell. The Great Lakes have always been a way to cheat geography and get the ocean buzz without the travel.


"Beautiful my desire, and the place of my desire."
--Roethke, The Rose

The back room in my Grandma's house held years of junk. It was basement level. After rain the floor flooded & became greased with mud. I always liked having an indoor room with a mud floor. There were two bird cages, the perches coated with droppings hard as old paint. Honed flints were pinned to the thin, brass-colored bars. Beneath the cages, stacks of spoiled magazines, each binding furred with white fuzz. The back room: muddy & rank as frogs in a jar on a hot day. I swear it was sinking.

Ours was a centennial farm & the barn carried every year of its history. The gray wood stale to the fiber, the main floor carpeted with chaff fine as grain & hundred year old corn-cobs shrunken to cigar-size. Dark inside. The barn's breath seemed scented with old dung, pig & rabbit, gone earthy & hardened beneath the chaff. Many times I just stood inside, breathing.

My mother's pink hands after canning; the faint, soapiness of unscented candles.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Funnier by the Minute

Aw shucks, they grow up so fast.

Seems like only yesterday my son Whit was making up jokes like:

when the tree fell over the bushes were silly.

This weekend, he made this up:

Q: What do you call a highway with no toll booths?

A: A freeway.
I love comedy.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Barbie Beware

Long before Chucky, there was this murderous little gal. I wonder if any of you elderly folks like me remember the Night Gallery episode the doll is from? I tracked it down and showed it to my son - still very creepy. I am going through a monster movie phase again and watching quite a few horror flicks. Some awful, some not so.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Here's an original (kind of) Van Gogh.
Took about two hours longer than it was supposed to (4 altogether) and I nearly fainted twice between the smoke, the heavy metal and the repetitive stabbing into my shoulder bone, muscle. Thank God for Dr. Pepper and Hershey bars. The sugar kept me in the game.

I got it back in Madison in 98 in memory of my son Rainer. So it's faded a bit now after so many years. You can find it on my right shoulder and in the summer, despite being completely not built for tank tops, I wear them so I can show it off.

I recently got a few vaccinations as part of the approval process for some volunteer work with kids and the nurse said she felt bad about sticking a Van Gogh. And then we laughed a little.

Hoppin Frog & Southern Tier

99 bottles of beer on the wall ...
Here are two of my newest discoveries. Hoppin Frog brewery, right here in Akron, and Southern Tier out East. Both have a make-your-eyes-roll with delight selection of ultra hoppy brews and other desirables.

I still love Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard out of San Diego, but there's enough of me to go around. So, if you love the micro brews, look for these beauties on a shelf near you.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Want to Believe

I love this! Just in time for Halloween.

A bigfoot photo from PA. A bear with mange some say. It gives me the willies.


Mulder are you there?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One Must Have a Mind of Halloween

Meet Farley ... our first ever pumpkin man thing. Engineered from the finest broom stick and local pumpkinry. He's right up front where he'll greet trick or treaters tomorrow night.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Alice Oswald - New & Selected

Wow, great news for Alice Oswald fans. Graywolf Press recently put out her New and Selected.

I just ordered myself a copy from ABE. Ahhh.

I Got a Big One

Back to work after a week off. Spent most of it up in Grand Rapids, Michigan visiting old friends, old haunts - meaning pizza places, book stores and hot dog joints. Went fishing with my son's Bear cub den on Saturday and had a bite or two.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Who Do You Look Like?

Numerous people have told me (in the orange shirt) I look like Lenin.
Who have you been told you look like?

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Smell That Ate the Puppy - a Cry for Help!

Almost sounds like a bad movie title - in reality its a bad night title. Last night while out for his walk cute little Otty did a nose dive into a steamy moist pile of dead animal. Who knows what it was. The smell is bigger, much bigger than he his and sickening to say the least. He has had two baths now, one concentrated around his muzzle and the smell LINGERS. I have a skunk funk recipe from the vet but would love to hear more suggestions and quickly if possible, on how to slay the stench.

What did I do?! Why is everyone sinking me!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bag Pipes in the Green Beans

My wife Chandar reported that today at the local grocery store, in celebration of Foods of England month (never heard of that one)she followed in a band of Bagpipers who marched to the produce section, took up position, and piped. Not a bad image.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I really love the revision process, re-versioning, etc. So I was drawn to this interview excerpt from Jane Reichhold on one of her haiku ...

Then, one day while throwing a pot on a kick wheel outdoors under a huge pine tree, I had a deep shock. Just as I was pressing my thumbs into the spinning ball of wet, slippery clay, as the walls were just beginning to rise up by pressing against my palms, a mockingbird gave a long, clear whistle. In that second, the ball of clay moved into being a walled vessel. I recognized that I was capable of experiencing one of these profound moments these Japanese masters had evidently felt, and now all I had to do was to put that moment into a haiku. I am still doing it and still not happy with any of my many, many versions. Just last week, during a sleepless night, I was working with the latest version: -

spinning clay
the mocking bird whistles
up a pot


spinning clay
the mocking bird whistles up
sides of a bowl


the mocking bird whistles up
a clay bowl

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gone Again - Doody Calls

I am going down to Columbus (this makes it week 2)to produce some videos and will not be able to Blog. I would like to leave you all with a little food for thought:

Bon Apetit!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Meep Meep - Hereford Park Relay Team

Race results are in. Click here. Scroll down to 58. Besides the satisfaction of not stopping to walk at any point, despite having $#!@@! shin splints from almost the very beginning, I also got a goody bag with balms and creams and a bag of Wheathins. It doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Flow Bee

She needs a new agent. It's a living ... I guess. Check this out.

On Guess Who's recommendation (see comments), we tried this on Otty.
Bad idea Guess Who. Otty's fur is on your hands.

Mixde Up Singsay

Mixed up sayings I meant to say.

A conversation at work the other day got me thinking of a woman I knew in college who consistently butchered well-known turns of phrase. Two that come to mind:

That bakes the cake!


Must be a freudian slide.
Add to the list if you can think of any you have heard. Work is maybe beginning to slow down so I am hopeful I will get back to Blogging with more regularity.

MARATHON UPDATE: Tomorrow is the day. I got my bag with my shirt, bib, timing chip and local merchant propaganda.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

They Grow Up So Fast ...

I’m all weepy this morning. Seems like only yesterday Otty had that new baby smell. Now, he’s begging at the table, marking (whether he has a full tank or not) and most amazing … he loves books. Especially the paper parts. I am not sure what the replacement costs will be to the Public Library but it’s coming out of his dog treat allowance.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Meep Meep - My First Marathon (Sort of)

I am running as part of a relay team this Saturday in Akron's Road Runner Marathon. My massive muscular equine-like thighs will drive me forward no doubt to the finish line. Perhaps walking.

On a related note ... various shots of my legs ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Barely Alive: Leave of Indefinite Absence

The pace is killing me. Or killed me I guess.

I wonder if I will ever get to Blog again. I miss it, feel naked without it. Actually I am naked. Here is a photo of my wife Glisenda offering me a full body sock. On the up side, no more comments about back hair. Down side my 7 year old son can kick my ass in wrestling now. No bones about it. (Yuck, yuck.) Be back when I can. Miss ya’ all.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I Will Rock You

My partner and I at work spend a great deal of time talking about our feelings, love and mostly music when we go outside for his smoke breaks.

Music-wise, we challenge each other with questions like … top 5 Beatles songs, or best rock voice, or most personally influential albums … and the one we always ask (like two old men who always repeat themselves) is which top 5 albums where all the rage during your teen years.

So, for better or worse, here they are.

Styx Grand Illusion
Boston Boston
Framptom Comes Alive
Queen News of the World
Van Halen’s first

The list brings tears to my eyes – for a lot of reasons. Like trying to dance to Come Sail Away at senior prom. I am thinking of this because I just borrowed Boston from someone and work and … It’s been such a long time ….

What’s in a Name

God only knows, but I was talking with my wife about pet names this morning and wanted to pass along the Hall of Famers that my Grandma had for her toy and miniature poodles.

Choo Choo
Bon Bon (a mini)
Je Paul
Poppa Touhy

By the way, she had these all at the same time. Quite a sight to see them all pillowed around her on the couch. On a related note, a guy I work with recently told me his young son named their pet gerbil Wood Piece.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Amazing Colossal Keith

My good friend Bertrand asked me to come up for air and post a little "Alive and well" message.

I am so ridiculously busy my Blogging has totally lapsed since my trip to and from Houston. In a nutshell, here's a summary of recent events ...

1. Oyster incident in Houston

2. New staff photo (see below) not my best side

3. Figured out what made me tick and then quickly forgot. In the dark again.

Anyway, I hope to be back in the saddle soon. P.S. Almost forgot. Met a new gal. She's cool with my giant diapee. How great is that!

ADDENDUM: My wife Belinda pointed out that she did not pick up on the movie play going on. The photos are from The Amazing Colossal Man and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Glen, the poor radiated fool who grows so big, ends up in a giant diaper. Probably Fruit of the Loom, but still a giant diaper. See movie poster.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baaaaaad Tooth Fairy

Holy shit, I don't believe it. We actually forgot to put a little coinage under our son's pillow last night for his tooth. We are bad fairies.

I will be in Houston for the rest of the week and not posting again until next week.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Catch Phrases - A Little Word Play

Drying out still after a day at the water park yesterday so not much to post today, but I did want to throw out a few phrases/lines that have caught my ear over the past few days.

Fluff me - from a Happy Meal box

"Aura of merit" - from a book on the First Crusade

"Subsequent poop" - my wife Helena talking about Otty

I guess these are in the spirit of a grad school game we used to play that involved claiming odd phrases we'd hear (or make up) as thesis titles. The one I still love is: Tides of My Hair.

The tide is out by the way. Almost all out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Wife's Fluid Legs

Between bedroom adagios and banana wangs, I guess I have a bit of a pattern going so in keeping with the theme ...

At the Poetry Reading
by John Brehm

I can't keep my eyes off the poet's
wife's legs—they're so much more
beautiful than anything he might
be saying, though I'm no longer
in a position really to judge,
having stopped listening some time ago.
He's from the Iowa Writers Workshop
and can therefore get along fine
without my attention. He started in
reading poems about his childhood—
barns, cornsnakes, gradeschool, flowers,
that sort of stuff—the loss of
innocence he keeps talking about
between poems, which I can relate to,
especially under these circumstances.
Now he's on to science, a poem
about hydrogen, I think, he's trying
to imagine himself turning into hydrogen.
Maybe he'll succeed. I'm imagining
myself sliding up his wife's fluid,
rhythmic, lusciously curved, black-
stockinged legs, imagining them arched
around my shoulders, wrapped around my back.
My God, why doesn't he write poems about her!
He will, no doubt, once she leaves him,
leaves him for another poet, perhaps,
the observant, uninnocent one, who knows
a poem when it sits down in a room with him.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Knock Knock. Who's There? Banana Wang

Okay, we have been devouring childrens' books now for 7 some years, and never, NEVER in all that time have I seen anything like this.

I give you the Banana Wang.

Can it even be an accident? The pic is from a joke book we picked up at a garage sale. Whit was reading it to me last night at bed time, and most of the jokes were terrible, but this, this was funny as hell.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Holy Terror - Night Crazies

Tug-o-pup is becoming a very popular game here. It is part of his night crazies. He also has morning crazies. Big bursts of puppy energy and dashing and darting and jumping and yipping. Alas, the pictures just can't capture all the tear assing around the room that goes on in between these shots. I try and try to get him on the move but I might as well be blind. If only my reflexes were better ... A beautiful moment tonight while out walking Otty. A woman came up to us in the park with a frizzed out Jack Russell girl (3 yrs.) and there was a little tension between the two dogs so the woman picked up her dog and offered its butt to Otty for sniffing. I am not sure I will ever be a dog person.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Green Mountains x 2

Two translations of the same haiku by Santoka Taneda.

The first comes from John Stevens' Mountain Tasting,

Going deeper
and still deeper—
the green mountains

the second from For All My Walking, Burton Watson.

the deeper I go
the deeper I go
green mountains

I read the second version as a little too explicit with its elbow nudge .. get it, get it? Deeper into the mountain, deeper into myself. JS's version pushes the idea to the same place with more subtle language methinks. Both wonderful books, bringing more (and different) Taneda poems into English.

My Classical Bedroom or Sex with Bach

Here’s a peeve of mine.

Classical music is often torn apart, sliced, diced and packaged on CDs according to moods, time of day, etc. Mozart for Midnight, Beethoven for Breakfast. Lute for Camping. Night Moods. Brunch with Bach. Woodwinds for Debate Club Parties.

I am making these up but I imagine you have seen such compilations. I suppose it’s a good way to sample classical music and enter the flow, but … this weekend I heard Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess on the radio and quickly requested it from the library – the only available CD with the track on it was something called Bedroom Adagios, 2 ½ hours of the most sensual music. I felt very young checking it, taking it from the librarian without looking at her, but I really really wanted to hear the track. It is gorgeous.

On the CD cover is a fluffy bed with the fluffy white sheet turned down, inviting lovers just like me and my wife Chelsea. I can almost see my wife and I, feeding strawberries into each others’ mouths. Laughing as the whipped cream gets on her nose. Stopping a long kiss long enough to see the red bird on our window ledge. And then both of us crying during sex. And waking up hours later, looking longingly at one another, and crying again.

I am not sure why CDs like this bug me. Does it cheapen the music (and experience) a little by concept-packaging it like some artificial ambience designed to fit these intimate aspects of life, by offering up a soundtrack, or someone’s idea of a soundtrack, for such personal matters? Besides, who can really hear music over all that moaning, and crying, and laughter. A the flit flit of tongues slurping whipped cream.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bugs in My Belfrey

Coming home from work last night, I found a Praying Mantis scaling our back door.

Me and my son Whit brought him in for close inspection and learned a few important mantis rules:

1.They get irony, as this one climbed atop the cover of the Silver Palet cookbook which has flowers all over it.

2.They are fast. Which makes photography hard.

3. They can leap quite well, so when they do pause and you get the camera poised they are (as this one did) likely to jump onto the camera.

I let him crawl upon my finger to carry him back outdoors and he quickly made it to my back.

A bit later I went jogging a found a freshly dead cicada, blew off the ants, and carried it home in my sweaty palm for Whit to examine. He consulted his bug book and informed me he thought it was a Dog Days cicada.
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