Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All you have to do is look and...

You will find a vampire playing accordion. Have a gander at Antonio over there. Notice anything funny? Like his eyes are glowing red for instance?
An artifact of the flash bulb, you say? Well, I'd say the shot was taken straight on, and not from stage right and I'm seeing glowing red eyes. So there. I think that the singer may have upped the anti a bit with the blood red top. What ever the reason, it sure looks as though Count Squeeze Box has a yearning for some kind of action, don't it? Now I can't just toss out a blanket and cover all accordion players as vampires. In fact, I am quite certain there are some flashy fiddlers in the cult as well. I am saying, that the accordion is mesmerizing in that it is rather difficult to figure out how one is played. Of course there are simplistic types of accordions that play one pitch when pushed together and the 5th tone of that note when pulled apart. These Concertina type have some buttons to make different notes and are somewhat like a harmonica in that, given enough time, most anyone could figure out a tune. There are other ethnic accordion types as well which, along with instruments like the Irish Pipes, tend to draw serious players to them. (in fact the Ulean Pipes themselves are a bit like and accordion with some bagpipe parts stuck on) Still the classic giant accordion that Vlad The Assailer is holding remains a mystery even to key board users. For instance, notice the hundreds of little white buttons on the Mondo Accordo. What do you suppose their function might be? Does one make chords on the keyboard and play notes with those buttons or do the buttons make the chords and if they do that by pressing down on several at once, they must make singe notes as well, yet there seems to be no pattern to the lay out. Certainly an instrument for a blind person or maybe on who enjoys the dark. I hope I have not frightened you with this news, but things being like they are these days, one can't be too careful. Know this young women! An accordion case looks quite similar to the one suitcase that might hold the worldly goods of a man cast from his cruel nation and set upon the road to find a living. All I can say is take heed in offering this person shelter for you may find your dreams enhanced by odd music such as Lady of Spain played in triplets and what might be "Show Tunes" from the big city. If this happens, confront your tenant during the daylight, outside would be preferable. If he won't come out during the day, them you must quit your dwelling with due speed alerting the peasants one and all that a monster has taken up residence and must be driven out by torch and fork. They will know what to do. You just have to keep your eyes open. I won't be around forever to spot out this kind of thing. OK? Fine

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Racism is feeling just fine , so let's watch TV

Folks, just in case you had a small glittering thought slide past the bar-code reader in your head. An impulse of hope that had you think for the time it would take to burn toast that THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was a not a place where every racist brick headed hate monger is comfortably ensconced in a sticky scum of like minded life support from the Good Old Boys. Well you can toss that dream out with whatever other comedy your mind dreamed up last night because Racism is OK plenty #1 fine right now and it will only get worse as we creep up to the elections of November. But wait! Racism is against the law and it ain't politically correct! Aren't we talking politics and law here? Well yes we are, but are also talking about a competition for the most powerful job on the planet and I fear that the people who have been so smug over the importance of being kind and understanding to all colors, genders and lifestyle choices are about to find out that their good works have only been tolerated in an master plan to set them up and knock them back a bit, about 100 years sounds right.

Think I'm Coo Coo? I wish, but lets check it out. It seems obvious that the Republicans are a kind of smash and grab gang. They get in, make a bunch of money on crooked deals, then the Democrats run them off. The trouble is, we are sort of running out of Democrats with both vision and personality. Now with four years of lame duck service by a president and his party who seem dying to give the White House away, instead of going out and finding an acceptable bright light, new wave honest person to lead the country, what do we do We put up a woman who nobody likes and We put up a African-American with a Black Muslim sounding name. Sorry, but those terms work to describe Senators Clinton and Obama to more than enough people to defeat either of them. I can imagine a bunch of evil old bourbon bastards raising a glass over that one.

I want a smart person with some good ideas to get this country back in gear and I don't care who that might be so long as he or she has got the faith of the people. Well, who does have the faith of the people? American Idol has the faith of the people. The nonsense of reality TV has their attention, while the reality is shaping up right outside their doors.

OK? You want TV? How about this one. A modern family of three. Mom and Dad are both smart and Sis is good at school. Well Dad has a real good job but he gets laid off so Mom goes out and gets a pretty fancy job herself and now here is the situation: The job that Dad lost has opened up again and guess who is applying? That's right! It's Mr. and Mrs. President! Starring The Clinton Family! Here's Bill! played by Bill Clinton, Hillary, his wife played by Sen. Hillary Clinton and of course the irrepressible Chelsea played by daughter Chelsea Clinton (who pretty much just slaps herself in the head and says "Here we go again")

How about a show for Senator Obama? Well I see a sort of "Roots meets The Cosby Show" It starts out with a black child running, being chased by other black and sold into slavery. Then he is in America and he is running from slavery and as he runs through time, different types of clothing come and go from his body and he runs faster and faster and his clothes are better until finally he steps into the chamber of the US Senate straightening his tie to the wild applause of the live audience. (who are trained to applaud anytime an actor walks on set or laugh or hiss, depending on who the character is.) I figure The Barac Obama Show could have some normal people from his family and friends who are all for his Presidency and these folks can be played off some stereotypical but quite realistic older Blacks-like a Chauffeur and a Cook for instance who may be looked down on by some off Obama's staff but end up giving the candidate sage advice as well as saving him from embarrassing situations.

Too bad there is a writer's strike. I think I could get someone elected. Huh?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Quick Sand and You!

Hi there, Texino here. How do you suppose that lady got mired in that big beach of quick sand? I guess you would call that a beach, wouldn't you? That's what you call a place where you have sand, right? Either that or a desert. So what is quick sand anyway, and how come you have probably never fallen in to any? Well first off, quick sand is not the same as quick rice or quick lime or even quick lunch. Nope, the name comes from the old fashioned term "quick" as in alive you know "the quick and the dead" "quick silver." in the old days when people had to come up with Churchy sorts of names for things they called this unstable granular liquefied substance "Quick" or "living" sands. You might think of quicksand as being like one of those Slurpee drinks; you know slushy flavored ice? If you can vision that, then you can see that if you suddenly got very small and then fell into one of those machines you could probably float because quick sand is just a sand Slurpee and being more dense than water floating would be pretty easy. Cold, but easy. So if you find yourself suddenly caught in quick sand just lie on your back and you will come right out. Quick sand is not very deep either but if you found yourself waist deep in the stuff getting without lying down would be really hard without the fire department coming along and squirting a big hose down by you legs to break the suction. It would work too. So what's going to happen to Lupe Valdez in the picture? Don't know because I've not seen it, but I'd say she's had it. Now if it were Esther Williams, she'd have back stroked out of there right about when I said "quick" used to mean alive. I suppose it still does, so I'm putting it in the Texino arsenal of asinine antiquated responses along with "That's what's the matter" ; Dis corporate" and many other out of date words and phrases which can be used to confuse and confound the enemies of speech and those too lazy to use "ing" endings. So when people ask how I might be "doin?" I may answer "Oh quick, very quick, thank you." OK? Fine I hope that you have enjoyed my little lecture on a little subject I know very little about, but through what I like to think of as "The Big Blog Collective Brain Process" by this time tomorrow, we should have the whole quick sand situation well in hand from the four corners of the globe to the seven seas, and that's what's the matter for this evening.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Love Offering

There is this fellow who posts to the same internet list about Bluegrass music that I post to as well. Why do I post to such a list? Well I used to make music my profession while enjoying hobbies such as short order cook, painter, deckhand, tree inspector, truck driver and other things during the daylight hours and like a lot of musicians, I made those hobbies pay for themselves with a bit left over for things like food and rent. Well meanwhile back on the list this guy whom we will call Mr. C. likes to write about the part of Bluegrass that deals with that Old Time Religion. I'll tell you right off that religious or not, if you play BG, you are going to be exposed to some gospel singing. It just goes with the territory. Also, if you do festivals and don't do a bit of the Sunday morning show, your stock with the promoter can fall and with that your fee. Anyway, the sacred music is by and large pleasant to hear and the message is one that makes sense on the surface. Not only that, but singing gospel music is lots of fun. what with lots of clever harmonies and all and not too many hot licks, so if your a drunk or dope addict and have spent Saturday night plying your craft, you can get through a gospel sing OK so long as it doesn't require complex musicianship from your hungover hands. See, Old Texino tells it like it is. Lets get back to Mr. C. Now like I said, this fellow is religion personified. If there is a BG (stands for Blue Grass) group known for their religiosity playing anywhere within 100 miles of this man's homestead, he will be beating the drum to let you know about it. Here is how it goes. "On Saturday at 7pm so and so and his somebodies will be playing at someones Baptist Church in the middle of nowhere come one come all admission is free a "Love Offering" will be taken. OK? Now I know what a "Love Offering" means. It's the same thing as "A collection will be taken" like they do in regular church. Well it's not actually the same you see because it's really a way that them phony TV preachers cooked up to ask for money using a code "Love Offering" because it could mean something else, like a prayer. It means money though and the fact that they won't come out and say so in a church is bothering me. I mean church gets money from it's parishioners or whomever. It's not like God and Jesus are real people who have a terrestrial payroll. By the look of some churches around these parts they don't need on either since they build like there is no tomorrow, which is a point of interest when you think about some of the preaching context. Oh well, remember Mr. C? Sure you do, the love light of bluegrass Music in totality. Well, somehow Texino got on Mr. C's personal mailing list and Jemima slap my behind if that man is not one of the most hateful creatures cruising the keys of cyber space. I tell you if there is a vicious lie running loose out there about, say Senator Obama from Illinois or Sen. Clinton from N.Y. or any other piece a non-truth crafted to spur hate against anyone who is not a white person with the log headed assumption that the original Jesus Christ looked like a cross up of Sigfried, Roy and a Lion (but not gay and with no tail) well Mr. C. will be sending it out to his Big List of Like Minds + Texino and one other guy who's there by mistake too. Now Mr. C. has not learned the value of the bcc option in his email, so I have access to his Like Mind List and in my wisdom, I have decided that these folks could use a "Love Offering " of some sort. You know, some times you have to get someones attention in order to correct a bad behavior pattern. Or it used to be so. Things may well have changed since I was last a disciplinarian. Still, you got to go with what you know. You remember I was saying how I fooled around making my hobbies pay while I was really a musician? Well I'm not certain I listed all my hobbies like forklift driver and internet technician, one or two more escape me. I'll have to make a list one day.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

America's (or any body's) Heros

I'm back. It is kind of Mr. Marley to show his deep concern over the possibility of Monkey Bears getting me, however; Sam may have overlooked the fact that I am in the company of the extreme guard dog axillary poodle who, in fact, is part bear . He is ever so different than my dog, but he needs care and love too and I'm quite certain he would bite if we agreed on a person's Mal intent.
Right now I would like to talk about the embarrassingly over used term American Hero. I can't quite recall who first poured the cheap syrup and blew the tin horn over the the word to charm it from it's long standing definition of "A Person who performs an action where the term idiotic and brave are interchangeable depending on the amount of political hay to be bailed from the incident" and changed it to the generic public servant who may or may not go into harms way very often and hardly to the extent that soldiers in a war do. Not to push the stubborn donkey (or kick the dead horse) I'll mention in my inside voice that I have held both jobs plus a couple of others that most normal people would overlook, like lobster boat deck hand and high steel painter, and while it is true that come crunch time, the firefighter must take what seem to be horrible chances and the deck hand risks being carried overboard
with his foot caught in a trawl line while the high iron worker can simply fall forever, these folks may call in sick and tend to be unionized with very good pensions and health plans. They work under OSHA rules as well and can strike or call job stoppage if safety seems an issue. Not to say there are not potential heroes to be had. Tradition mandates that men and women in dangerous professions do stupid things all the time and get recognized for the heroic parts. Your real heroes however. Well they come from the ranks of the citizens who take up arms for what they believe are the foundational ideals that make their country the best place, their religion the truth of the ages, their oil the blackest or their coconuts so sweet; small things to one person's ear roar like the Lion of Victory to the next guy. That's where they come from, but they still have to do some heroic labor to get the title. I can tell you, the majority would just as soon be home on the couch but believe it or don't there actually are heroic deeds that left undone might threaten the existence of the couch, the ice box and the beer as well. So do yourself a favor and think a little bit before you toss the H word around. For some reason the word pushers are trying to shove Hero into the category of every kid on the team gets a trophy just for showing up. Where did that come from? Well remember Vietnam? That is a small country not much bigger than New Mexico but long like Florida. Well had a war going there for a good while and since it was a sort of go out and find some enemy type war it was probably the war with the greatest support operation ever in one place. I mean tons of transportation and logistics and administration outfits, maintenance battalions lots more stuff and very little big fighting forces out in the Field. Now that doesn't mean the enemy didn't sneak up and shoot mortars and rockets at any base that had an air field. They did that quite a bit but not for very long. OK? Well, remember that just about every kid over there had grown up right after WW II where everyone went to war stayed until it was finished and moved around back and forth with the line of battle. Vietnam was nothing like that at all. And what happened was you had 55,000 die but many many more just rotated through for a 12 month hitch and they were there, then gone out of the Army before they even got acclimated. I was a little surprised that I did not get any respect for doing my time, but I was glad to be gone. Over a period of time however, I could not help but notice a far greater percentage of special forces combat veterans clogging up society than the could possibly have been in real life. That led me to the theory that rather than such a huge post traumatic stress issue, there was much more of a guilt feeling that here you were at war and you just did some army job all week until you went home and even though you may have been shot at, you were not at Khe Sanh or any of a very few big battles they had fought. So you made a legend for yourself and started to believe it and this led to the ridiculous ideas of POWs and MIAs being in Vietnam 20, 30 even 40 years after the fact.
and it was this kind of unresolved nonsense that now requires us to slap an automatic hero sticker on ever soldier, policeman or firefighter we see. These people deserve you respect to be sure. But while we are so free with our heroism handouts, does anyone know what happens to a real hero? Some soldier who lays down his life to save other soldiers, civilians, children?
Nothing really, he was just doing his job. Give him a medal and a flag for the wife and then ease her off post because they need the housing and it's not like dead people are still in the service. Spend your billion bucks a day, but what kind of benefits befit the survivor. Not many. People are used to it. I say pay off the Camaro and give them a million bucks plus education for the kids and lifetime medical and PX privileges. You don't think we could afford that? Well, how about afford it or stop with the bullshit wars and while you're at it make the word Hero mean something again, it'll save you some dough and maybe place public service in it's proper position of respect. Take a look around, we don't need another hero. Just some common sense and the guts to remember that we are the people and we need to give ourselves a good talking to.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Monkey Bears

Hello, Sam Marley here. I'm sorry but I had to send that screwy Texino to the showers. His latest thing is hearing his dead dog barking him up and so he goes out looking with the idea that maybe it is time for both of them to pal up on some other planet. I'm not too worried that Texino is gong to follow his old pal off the bridge or anything, my main concern lies with the heightened bear activity all over the place. Evidence the photo. WTF? Well that common black bear has gone right up a rather thin tree where someone has strung a rope from to another tree and placed a wild bird feeder between them.
Well if you think that bear is going to shinny out that rope and eat what ever is in that bird feeder, you win the cigar because that's just what he does despite the fact someones taking his picture and he sees them. Now that's no giant grizzly but he's no cub either and I have little doubt that should a distracted man come strolling through those woods calling a phantom dog, there would be very little to keep that acrobat from dropping on our hero and eating him right up. I don't want this to happen especially since Texino is very frightened of bears having been stalked by one once and the boy's had enough hard luck for the time being. So do mean a favor. You see Texico moping around tell him to keep his head up or he's history and going out in the middle of a sorry ass depression is not the way you want to be remembered unless you want to be forgotten.

Monkey Bears

Hello, Sam Marley here. I'm sorry but I had to send that screwy Texino to the showers. His latest thing is hearing his dead dog barking him up and so he goes out looking with the idea that maybe it is time for both of them to pal up on some other planet. I'm not too worried that Texino is gong to follow his old pal off the bridge or anything, my main concern lies with the heightened bear activity all over the place. Evidence the photo. WTF? Well that common black bear has gone right up a rather thin tree that someone has strung a rope from to another tree and placed a wild bird feeder between them.
Well if you think that bear is going to shinny out that rope and eat what ever is in that bird feeder, you win the cigar because that's just what he does despite the fact someones taking his picture and he sees them. Now that's no giant grizzly but he's no cub either and I have little doubt that should a distracted man come strolling through those woods calling a phantom dog, there would be very little to keep that acrobat from dropping on our hero and eating him right up. I don't want this to happen especially since Texino is very frightened of bears having been stalked by one once and the boy's had enough hard luck for the time being. So do mean a favor. You see Texico moping around tell him to keep his head up or he's history and going out in the middle of a sorry ass depression is not the way you want to be remembered unless you want to be forgotten.

Friday, January 18, 2008

How do they rise up?

More death has come to close our circle, cut in on our dance, send a player off the field; please take your choice. I wish these people I know, the ones who keep dying so soon and so sudden, were of royal linage. I mean where lies the sorrow in the oxymoron "The King is Dead!" "Long Live The King" There is none. It's a cry of security, a heraldic answer to the pleading cheer "We want another one just like the other one!" The Royal Line always scores. For the rest of us? Who the hell knows. Everyone has an idea. Some people are rabid on salvation to the point that their life is nothing but window dressing for death. Me? to tell the truth, I'm a bit nervous. I've been around lots of deaths and no one has ever tried to get away. Some have asked me please don't let them die, but they were mostly ones I could accommodate. What I mean is no one has screamed oh Lord, I see old death a commin please hide me, Ill do anything! No, they mostly either look up at the where the wall meets the ceiling or maybe call out for their momma and that's about it. The scary part is, I've run up on a ghost or two in my life and they were obviously unsettled spirits that were activated by heavy emotional upheaval. One in particular would parade from the middle or the bar of the H shaped Texino mansion and do this stomp drag noise ending in the bottom left hand of the upright H which was where my quarters were located. Fortunately the first time he or she made this move, I was in the upper left H so the spirit dragged and scrapped right by door giving my the chance to haul ass back the way it had come and escape down the middle spiral staircase raising the alarm in full cry. Nothing turned up and though I heard that noise in and out of my dreams over the next year or so we lived at Arch Hall it never came close or scared me again. Point is, it was there and it was moving right outside my door and my boisterous dog was lying on the floor with her ears flat and shivering in fear. So this sort of tells me that it is possible for supernatural events to take place in connection with dead people. I've seen others too and they are enough to make me know that I would like to die easy and more or less in my proper time and place.
I've posted a great deal on death lately. Mostly trying to ease the minds of people who probably don't need me because they have people and families to get together and properly wake their dead. Of course I don't mean get them up to dance, more like a get together to spread the pain around so no one has to carry too much. It's a classic way of turning sad into fond remembrance and it allows for a people to get back to work with not much more than a hangover which they would rather forget and with it a bit of the death is forgotten as well. Wakes are common places for boys and girls to hook up too. Nothing like romancing someone in aid of thumbing your nose at death. I don't get invited to wakes. I'm just Mr. Words

I know a song to bother death though. This is the call: All the little angels how do they rise up? rise up! rise up! rise up! how do they rise up so high?

The Response goes: With their hands they rise up! rise up! rise up! rise up! with their hands they rise up so high! Soldiers sing it on their way to fight and they add, wings, arms, knees, feet and even some rude parts to answer the question of "How do they rise up so high?" I don't think that song really scares anyone at the dark end of the street, but try singing it when you feel a bit down or you find that you've been left alone at a bad time. You can rise above a great deal.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Strange brain diseases on the upswing

To keep life interesting, things that kill us shift around in varying degrees. They are fairly sneaky about it though and that is why we need PhD candidates. by the class load. Let's look at horrible neurological maladies like ALS and Alzheimer's Disease. We can toss in Parkinson's Disease and MS as well. Ill wager you know someone who has one of those, plus there are a whole bag of other brain killers out there that sort of step in out of the cruel world, leave their dirty germs and hit the road and the infected person don't know jack about it until one day they ask someone to pass the cake when they mean the salt or they drop a fork or forget how to put their shoes on and there you have it. There is a book which was pretty popular a few years back called The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. In it Dr. Sacks recounts humorous anecdotes from neurological case histories where patients did things like mistake their wives for hats. Somehow, I don't think that book would hit the streets so hard these days. Why? Well, I was taking stock of the people I know who are in decline and at the moment, I was rather surprised to discover that I knew more folks with creeping fatal brain disease than people who have cancer. Of course cancer pretty much kills everyone who gets it and I have lost a few friends and maybe I'm just in a lull before a fresh batch. Still, you go into someones home where a person is dealing with Alzheimer's and see signs on the doors saying "Door" it's not too amusing at all. Then I saw some guy on 60 minutes who literally couldn't remember shit. He sat around writing down stuff in this note book all day long, and every time his wife came into his room he would introduce himself and write down that he had met her, but two minutes later he'd say "Sorry, I've not met you before" and you could point out in his notes that this was not, in fact the case, and he wouldn't remember that. Talk about wanting to pull someones plug. When I first started working in medicine 30 years ago, you would Dx a goofy acting old person with OBS-Organic Brain Syndrome; thought to be a sort of "hardening of the arteries in the brain" Well terms like hardening of the arteries are not used any more and "OBS" is not in the big book of Dx codes. These diseases are unique and cannot be thrown together over at the old folks home. They need special wards for Alzheimer's patent's; it's rather terrifying to forget everything. Having ALS, must certainly be hell; your muscles just turn off, excepting the brain which, of course, is not a muscle. I can report that PD responds to its medication but the medication brings a life of its own and, if you don't happen to need it may well set up cake walks and bingo contests in your brain with your visible emotions as the prizes. There are many more neuro-nightmares that we could discuss, but I'd just ask you to wonder about what I have said about the spate of diseases. Is there some environmental issue on the march? Is the lid on? I have not done any real research. I just have a true feeling something awful is on the move. But then I'm a boy with a big imagination. Of course, if we don't put our imaginations to work, we seem to end up the worse for it. You think?

This is for Lynn, a friend to many, a mother to one and a victim to an evil whim of nature that took her mind and her heart, but not her soul. No, she spread that like a pair of wings in the early morning and flew away on the rising sun. Fly free, far and don't look back. You will not be forgotten.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Best Friend

This is a pretty simple story. It's about a boy and his dog. I'm the boy. The dog's name is Cosmo. We have been together for a very long time. Long enough so that, as need be, I do dog stuff and he does people stuff. Mostly, of course, we take care of our own business. He's the nose, I'm the eyes, he's the ears, I drive and so on. Eight years ago Cosmo saved my life. He really did. I needed to go to the hospital but I did not want to because I knew what happened when 52 year old men showed up complaining of discomfort to the chest. They made them stay there while they plotted torture tests while the man would much rather just go home and cuddle with his family or in this case his dog, since the dog was his family. I have a wife and we have another dog who is very sweet, but Cosmo, well people said they had never seen a dog love someone quite so much as Cosmo seemed to love me. I could feel it too, so when I tried to get out of going to the ER and Cos just stared me down I knew he would not let up until I called 911. I was gone for a week or so getting heart surgery, but as soon as I got home Cos got on the bed and glued himself to my left leg and stayed right there till I was up and about. The bond grew to the point where I really could not leave Cosmo. He had developed Addison's Disease and if I tried to go away and board him there was a good chance he would have an attack. After two near fatal episodes, I could not afford the emotional or the financial cost, so if Cos couldn't go some place, Texino didn't go either. I figured I owed him. Then not long ago, 6-8 months maybe, I'd been through a series of unexplained falls. Things checked out with my heart and everything seemed to be ok fine. (wrong) Turned out I was having small seizures. This came to light as I found my self in the drivers seat with Cosmo nudging me out of a twilight state as I was about to crash into a large van. I barely missed out on a major crunch, went right to the doctor and walked out with a diagnosis of seizure disorder and early stage Parkinson's Disease. Oh lord! Well I got my old friend to help me get through it. Cosmo my friend. Joined in the heart, joined at the head. Hey look at the picture! That's us sharing a thought, hatching a plot or going for the complete Gothic presentation. Me and Cos. A great big poodle who loves to go; loves to announce when it's walk time; loves ice water; prefers drinking from a fountain or a hose. For dinner? Oh whatever you're eating will do just fine. Tossed Pasta with cheese, mmm-tasty!
Cosmo has a lot to say too! He wont go so far as to talk people words, you just have to listen up and use you imagination. What a good dog!

My best friend. Cosmo B. Topper's Noel. October 10, 1997-January 13, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

They deregulate airlines don't they?

Hi people and others. Sam Marley here. Recently, I've had Evel Knievel and Ike Turner both down here helping me shift a bunch of Absinthe through the portal. I hear that you can get the stuff shipped normal side these days, but the kind of people I deal with, well, they just like the romance of the smuggler plus the hi-tech of a time space portal. Little larceny in everyone.

Oh yeah. "If you want to be a junkie, remember Freddy's dead." That's a little piece of news from soul rocker Curtis Mayfield who popped through her the other day on his way to Rio. I was sort of hoping he would take Zombie Ike Turner with him, but no, Ike's not smooth enough for Mr. M. yet.

Hey look what I found! A whole bottle of Heroin produced by the folks who bring you Bayer Aspirin. I don't know if it's any good since it seems kind of old. Point is that if they can make the shit and stick it in these cool retro bottles, I'd say Govt. deregulation is the next step. You bought any stuff like methadone lately? Stuff is dirt cheap. I'd say Bayer could probably wholesale that bottle for a buck, buck-fifty tops and we could move it to Junkies for an easy ten. Yeah I know about Freddy, but he was getting his shit down in Compton someplace. People are going to do drugs, so why not let drug companies supply them? You may be asking yourself.. Why is a criminal like Sam Marley advocating this. Well, I may be a crook, but I'm not a villain, so if people can get good clean dope that won't put them out on the street doing crazy junkie stuff like stealing toasters and stuff, I'm for that. Plus I'm sure to make plenty of new friends both dead and alive, money too. It's what we call win win down here in the Fat Alley.

The return of Le Fee Verte

Hi there. I was reading, I read quite a bit you know, and I chanced upon a piece of information that said "Wormwood" the principal ingredient in the spirit Absinthe was "The most highly addictive substance there is, bar none." Well, OK. I was pretty certain that Absinthe was highly illegal to obtain and drinking it was akin to drinking wood alcohol or some other poison. Then I happened to Google the word and much to my surprise, I found that you could order yourself a bottle of "the Green Fairy" for around $200. Further research lent the information that "Wormwood" a nonpoisonous plant, contained a substance with a chemical makeup similar to THC and the amount of this "thujone" in micrograms per millilitre has a lot to do with the classification of some spirits. At any rate, it would seem that drinking absinthe was a popular pastime among the artistic and literati communities at various times during the 19th and 20th centuries. Absinthe itself is a high proof liquor which has a licorice and bitter taste, however; when the drink is allowed to louche, a ritual wherein the green liquor is poured into a special glass where it goes into a "well", then a slotted spoon is placed over the rim and a cube of sugar is laid atop that. Then ice cold water is allowed to fall drop by drop onto the cube and into the glass. This causes the shocking green liquid to opalace or "louche" into a milky swirl and that is what you drink. Now the point of this is supposed to bring out the other flavors and activate the various chemicals to where the drinker becomes taken by the influence of "The Green Fairy" a feeling described as both "high and not" or, in other words "normal to a greater extreme." Sounds a bit like one of those drugs where you mix speed with heroin. Seems like it would counter produce, although heroin having the longer half life usually hangs in there and kills people who take that combination in serious dosage. So by and large this absinthe thing sounds sort of half alcoholic unreason and have placebo reaction. What ever the case enough people were getting their kicks from it to cause its banishment in the US in 1917 as well as other parts of Europe through the years. Switzerland was big on the ban because a man called Lanfray killed his family in a drunken rage after having taken two drinks of the stuff. (the fact that this was followed by a day of serious drinking of other sorts before doing the deed was not considered)
Mr. E. Hemingway of Oak Park, Illinois was fond of absinthe and reported that he penned his novel "For Whom The Bell Tolls" under the influence of "The Green Fairy" Mr. Hemingway was asked to contribute to a book of celebrity cocktail recipes , he sent this one. The Death in the afternoon cocktail: "Pour one jigger absinthe into champagne glass. Add chilled champagne until proper color is reached. Drink 3-5 of these slowly."
Well now. It would seem that this highly addictive psychoactive drink is gaining ground speed and setting itself up for some smarmy media presenter to have an investigative field day. In fact, some guy who disappeared from a cruise ship recently had drunk some absinthe with a lot of other people who didn't disappear. That bit of trace logic has not seemed to fall in to the news hopper yet. So hows about it folks? Enough dammed lies for you? You know it's funny, I'm an absinthe expert and yesterday all I knew was it tasted like licorice and was what Pernod used to be and a few loose bar facts. I was also quite ready to believe that it was terribly dangerous. Now? Well a little balanced research and I'm pretty sure it is a fad. Probably not a harmless one because it is supposed to make you better at thinking. Plus it has to do with drinking and drinking is bad for you if not done in moderation and for medicinal purposes. On the other hand the whole ritual of preparation and the purported outcome is only going to apply to a certain sort of person, so not only do I see it as a fad but a limited one at that. I mean how many folks do you know are going to go to a bar and ask if they have the Green Fairy? Don't give me no St. Patrick's Day Gay bar crap either. Me ? I don't do bars anymore.
Perhaps someone could do one for me and let me know if it makes you smarter. As you may have noticed, my mind can be changed and should a few IQ points be up for grabs, well I guess I could could believe in fairies.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

In Loving Memory

I went out for a drive yesterday. A trivial errand actually, I needed to put some air in the mysterious slow leak tire and it was a good excuse to take my old dog for a ride. I had to pass enough places who, for what ever reason, have a need to remind me what country I happen to be cruising through by displaying a large flag on a pole. I don't want to get into the flag thing just now other than to say, I used to really love that symbol before it was co-opted by the decal folks and passed out to right thinking citizens to use as a secret merit badge or something. At any rate, a flag on a pole has quite a few uses besides plain Jane jingoism. For one tell you which way the wind is blowing and for two how hard and in this case, for three, it can signal that someone important has died. How important? Well that would depend. I flipped on the radio and NPR was talking about politics and they seemed alive and well. A quick scan of the band turned up the usual suspects not being suspicious so I was at a loss. I know there are rules for this flag thing, but ever since the flag went decal, you never know when some city or just a group within it may decide to lower the flag to honor the death of a local big shot. Well Texino on the trail is a hard train to derail, so I hit the local paper's website where you can read the obits and even sign a guest book about the dead person for free or for $ if you want to pimp it up with pictures and stuff. Well before too long, I had it. The flags were down for a local fellow, 32 year old father of two and a Sgt. in the 82nd Air Borne Division who had got killed over in (I believe) Iraq on Christmas Day. Well that sucks. And what sucks even more is this. I knew this guy back when he was a little kid on the block. I knew his mom. I knew his dad. That was a long time ago, however, and his father died young and his mom had divorced prior to that and she's remarried. So when I put those people together in context as a family, what my mind's eye sees is Tom and Sylvia playing music, they had a song on the radio you know, and Bryan is a little kid. I can't relate to the picture of the grown up soldier the paper ran and what's more if you had tapped me on the shoulder back in '79 and said "Oh, btw, that little kid over there, he's gonna get killed in a war even dumber than the one you were in." I would have said you were fucking crazy. Anyway, I wanted to say something in the on line guest book, but all I could think about was my "Loving Memory" of the young family whole and happy and while that is a perfectly acceptable way in which to keep a person alive in your heart, I just did not think it would fit in with all the other entries about pride and sacrifice and the man's wife and children and things I have no idea about. Oh yeah, the flag thing. Well according to, the paper the Governor said it was OK. That old flag. Like I said, it can tell you a lot, you just have to look at the whole picture. It does mean something.