People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
A.A. Milne

Top Ten

Raymond Chandler
John Steinbeck
Philip K Dick
William Blake
Kenneth Patchen
William Faulkner
Kurt Vonnegut
William Kennedy
William Burroughs
Lewis Carroll

I just re-read Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley”.
First time I read it, or thought I had read it, was when I was about 7. It was in Readers Digest. My motherly have missed issue of Life and The Post but she never missed an issue of Readers Digest.
She followed Readers Digest scrupulously because of the jokes.She read the Digest jokes only as research. At least twice a week my mother sent in jokes to them. They paid $25.00 if they printed your joke. Which meant that every day my mother would rush to check the mail, flipping through all the envelopes searching for the golden $25 check from Readers Digest. I think it was a check that would have justified her life.
“Humor In Uniform”, “Life In These United States” etc etc. She told horribly embarrassing stories on herself, such as how horrified she was in the army hospital when the nurse brought me to her as a new born. She was fifteen and thought I was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. She wanted to hide me from the world.
For some obvious reasons Readers Digest never published any of my mother’s jokes. That didn’t stop her from sending them in and running to get the mail searching for the check that for $25 that would save and justify her life.
She was never discouraged. The closest she ever came to discouraged, or to reality, was instead of sending in dozens of envelopes with each of her real life anecdotes she would print them on Big Chief notebook paper, each page clearly identified as to where she thought the jokes belonged; “Life In These United States”, Humor in Uniform” etc. and send them in a single envelope.
When Flash Comics published one of my letters she enlarged it, xeroxed it, framed it and hung it in the hallway by the bathroom door. She’d look at it and mutter, “footprints on the sands of time. . . “

I’d rather sing one wild song and burst my heart with it, than live a thousand years watching my digestion and being afraid of the wet
Jack London

Beacon By Darcy

Click images for desktop size: “Beacon” by Darcy
There’s been a lot going on. Too much really, and all that sort of stuff that to understand this story I have to tell you this other story first and then this other story third.
There’s the old sufi story, “When sewn into a bag of oats one can panic or one can be like the mouse and slowly eat your way out.” Or one can think about other great stories and the state of the world. Hickey And Boggs Hence, here’s my list of the five greatest American novels.

  • The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler – To me, this is still the greatest American novel. It doesn’t explain the world just the fabric and soul of a nation as encapsulated within Los Angeles. As everyone knows, as Hollywood goes so goes the world. In this story about friendship and devotions all the people are portrayed as human, faces loved by someone. Everyone has dreams, desires and a trace of nobility if one is open enough to see it. Even the evil and contemptible offer something glorious to the world and if you can’t see it then it is because of the evil in you. There’s plenty of politics here, all of the self serving and corrupt type. Politics makes even men of vision and hope finally succumb to the weariness of this world till they become as callous and embittered as the evil they seek to destroy.
    Robert Altman made of movie of this. It was terrible beyond believe.
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck – Sadly, almost ridiculously this book is more pertinent today then it was to its contemporaries. The only thing is that the “bosses” have gotten more corrupt, more clever, and more ruthless and more heartless. This story holds up to the light the evil we have accepted and come to envy. How we have forgotten the Populism and drive that led us to love our fellow man is made clear in the way minor characters in the story are now harbingers of a grim future as apocalyptic as any cheesy sci-fi novel’s worst dreamings.
    It’s a story of people. The Joads are easy to identify with, in their simplicity, dumbness and urge to survive. That life is a black top highway is common knowledge to all of us from the Beauty Admiring A Warbler In A Plum Tree by Tsuki Settei

    Click images for desktop size: “Beauty Admiring a Warbler in a Plum Tree” by Tsuki Setti
    Far West.
    This book is so full of story and people that just skimming the film from the top of it like the skin from a hot cocoa gives enough material to make a great movie. And that happens so seldom except with those heavy Russian novels that are portentous and no fun at all.
    This book entertains, horrifies and educates. Looking at the past we can see our present and foretell the future. Politics, yeah we got it by the bucketful, and it’s the politics we wish didn’t exist.
  • The Journal of Albion Moonlight by Kenneth Patchen – America wasn’t a superpower yet. Believing in her was betting on the underdog, the mongrel. It’s easy now to be a jingoist xenophobia. We won and now we’re fading out to join those other great empires of the past.Hammett
    Patchen’s novel takes the same journey as the Joads took in Grapes of Wrath, but it is a different highway through a different country side. One where Adolph Hitler and Jesus Christ are hitchhikers riding in the same back seat of the same old Buick. And Hitler and Christ are only incidental characters we note almost in passing.
    It’s a violent uncompromising vision of America. Accurate too. Right up to the final disintegration.
  • The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs – We need great books that make us laugh out loud. I first read this is high school. I passed it along to my friends and before long the entire team was yelling quotes at each other in the hallways and classrooms. We gave certain teachers and coaches nick names based on characters in the novel. Now I wonder what the school thought about their best, handsomest champions shouting out things like :I am the great Slashtubitch. You cannot fake the orgasm on me. I can tell if you come by the wiggle of your big toe.”
    They made a weirds movie of this book, by David Cronenberg. The movie wasn’t great at all. The novel is and will take you to an America ruled by caricatures who give into their basest desires and then put off the evil and monstrosities as being for our own good.
  • Ironweed by William Kennedy – The story of a second baseman.
    They made a movie of this book. When they announced it I said to people that it could be a great movie so long as they didn’t cast Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in it. So of course it starred Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep and of course it sucked.
    This is an amazing book.

This is the latest podcast. I’m still surprised that there are as many downloads of these as there are. Who knows why.
I’m proud of this one. It’s what I wanted my wife’s birthday podcast to sound like.

The Cool and The Crazy 8
Schooldays: LA

2013-01-19_coolandthecrazy-8-schooldaysinla.jpg
Travoltas – Endless Summer
Plimsouls – Good Times
Dorktones – Everlasting Love
Ramones – She’s A Sensation
Third Bardo -Five Years Ahead Of My Time
Florian Munday & The Mundos – Rip It Up
Mink Jaguar – Red Queen
Boss Martians = Hey Hey Yeah Yeah
Bill Loyd – Trampoline (alt)
Wet Willie – Shout Bamalama
Exciters – Tell Him (unedited)
Red Cross – Yesterday Once More
Chesterfield Kings – Somewhere Nowhere
Jello Biafra – Convoy In The Sky
Teen Machine – Bitchin’ Camaro
Crimson Ghost – Attitude
Trashmen – My Woodie
Astronauts – Our Car Club
DiMaggio Brothers – Every Breath You Take
Bob Dylan – You Belong To Me
Eddie Cochran – My Way
Big Daddy – Eye Of The Tiger
Everly Brothers – Gone, Gone, Gone
Blasters – Samson And Delilah
Outsiders – Time Won’t Let Me
Brogues – I Ain’t No Miracle Worker
Plan 9 – I’m Not There
King – Come As You Are
Herb – The Work Song
Yep – Waterloo Sunset
Come Ons – Strangelove
Toxic Audio – Lean On Me

Words mean exactly what I want them to mean
Humpty Dumpty via Lewis Carrol

Route 163 by Kuba Klewaniec

Click images for desktop size: “Route 163” by Kuba Klewaniec
Just finished re-reading Steinbeck’s, “The Grapes of Wrath”. Great book, great story.
What’s crazy is that a rare masterpiece of a book was actually made into a masterpiece of a movie.The Blue Dahlia
I’m used to a masterpiece being decided as much by the medium as the content. I can think of great books making good movies and great movies being made from decent books, But almost no great movies coming from great books.
I think its a testament to John Ford that the hardest thing about reading the book is shaking the near indelible images from the film. And its a testament to John Steinbeck that it doesn’t take long for Tom Joad to be talking in his own voice instead of Henry Fonda’s, and for the Preacher to become something big and real instead of a creation of John Carradine’s.
They’re both great works and they stand independently without complimenting each other. They remain unique and special each unto themselves. I think this is mainly due to the brilliance of the story. Stories about people finding their own way in a terrible land full of promise, promise withheld from the people, are always the stuff that fires up my imagination, It’s the sort of story that creates values and gives a vivid purpose to morals.
The book is what’s in front of me now. We know the story, the dust storms and the banks that created the depression. The rich bastards that perpetuated the depression for their own self serving purposes.
In the book the enemy is spelled out plain: “when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the oppressed. The great owners ignored the three cries of history. The land fell into fewer hands, the number of the dispossessed increased, and every effort of the great The Stranger DC Comics

Click images for desktop size: “The Stranger” by DC Comics
owners was directed at repression.”
One of the things that sets literature apart from fiction is the ability of the writer to touch a stone and to see that stone from the gravel pit and into a future that exceeds his own generation’s lifetime.
Steinbeck in telling the simple tragedy of the Joads driving a clunker 2,000 miles has set the stage for myth and metaphor. The simple plight of one family is amplified through it’s present into ours so that people become symbols and names fail the reality and the names become us.
Explicit in “Grapes of Wrath” is the rise of the Populist movement in America. Populism terrified the big owners. They had to brand it with false names calling the adherents commies and reds. They were no such thing.
Populism believed in keeping people alive. It believed in self government , in supporting yourself and each other. It believed in feeding the children and in giving a man the dignity befitting a humanBorn To Be Bad being. Not very lofty ambitions.
The billionaires called the populists, reds, thugs, they called them an evil that would destroy America and they refused to let them alone and worked their hardest to destroy them. Steinbeck summed it up, “And the great owners, who had become through their holdings both more and less than men, ran to their destruction, and used every means that in the long run would destroy them. Every little means, every violence, every raid on a Hooverville, every deputy swaggering through a ragged camp put off the day a little and cemented the inevitability of the day.”
See, the Koch Brothers haven’t done anything new. They learned a few things. They appropriated the populist moniker and replaced swaggering deputies with racist young people and soft frightened old people. They used fear to motivate the people who don’t have enough to arm them against the people who don’t have anything. Then they went after the unions, the workers, while they acquire and force out the small businessman while telling the small businessman it is all the fault of those other guys. The Koch Russ Tamblyn-West Side Story

Click images for desktop size: “Russ Tamblyn”
Brothers and their allies scream: It’s the Chinese or the Koreans or the Japanese and its your next door neighbor. It is everyone but me. And all we do we do to protect you until you become one of them.
Populism was bought with blood and gunfire and some of the blood was that of starved to death babies and all of it was from people who just wanted to work and have a home and enough to eat to stay alive. What we have today are the jack booted owners appropriating a name in an effort to side step the real suffering they are causing.
A better example of Tea Party faux populism is seen clearly in the film, “Meet John Doe” which is related to Steinbeck in its populist views and its view of the many by exploring the plight of the few. In “Meet john Doe” a genuine populist movement is financed then used and abused for personal gain by Eddy Arnold. Of course, in the movie as in real life, the populist characters survive the horrid abuse and exploitation because the faith in fellow man is greater than the faith in governments and establishments.Bride of the Gorilla
The book “Grapes of Wrath” is bleak because a world controlled by people who have forgotten their humanity in favor of acquisition is a terrible and bleak thing. The world of Ayn Rand jerks is a desolate and an unrich place not fit for habitation even by her adherents. Deeper and of great beauty is the life of those poor who struggle along and learn to live together with each other who see life as a small chance at pleasure and happiness.
“Grapes of Wrath” is a great book, meaning it’s entertaining, lively with a story to tell about people.When you tell a great story about people you manage to become pretty all encompassing, not sodden or turgid but inspirational even in despair.

Whiskeyman’s my friend, he’s with me nearly all the time
John Entwistle

skulls.jpg

Click images for desktop size: “Skulls” by Unknown
I’ve been re-reading Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. I may have to “revaluate Bradbury. I always remembered him as a high school type writer. The kind of guy who appealed to nerdy pimply kids Though Shalt Not Kill Except and their lost host fantasies.
“451” is a lot deeper than I recalled from when I read it in high school.
There’s a longish speech from the Fire Captain, who represents, pretty much, the mores of the future society, that pretty neatly encapsulates the present state of the United States. The captain lays out and nearly justifies the epic rantings of the tea party ilk. He praises stupidity as the great leveler, as the ultimate path to total equality.
That seems to be where the Republicans are leading us, to a world of the mediocre, where the rich make the rules and force us to see the exceptional as dangerous and malformed.
I remember a conversation I had with a teammate back in college after, what to us was, a devastating loss. In football a loss produces a strange mixture of feelings. You’re physically depleted from the game, nerves are twitching, muscle fibers are screaming for nourishment and craving adrenaline and there’s nothing.
Self recrimination sets in for some; what could I have done? Most get flooded with those buried traumatic memories, those glimpses of the past we’d buried, the casual cruelties our loved ones inflicted on us without thinking.
Some, the less well balanced would blame someone else. And a select few just didn’t care but had enough sense to keep quiet about it.
So, that was the mood that I was in slumped on the bench in front of my locker when the guy next to me, still in pads and jersey starting talking to me. He talked about life. He talked about success and succeeding. And he said the one thing I’ll never forget. I can still see him, his brown hair spiked from helmet hair and sweat, his dirty face streaked with tears and sweat, three pimples on his chin, “If you want to win you have to be like them. You can’t stand out; be too smart or too pretty you have to kiss ass and be like them.”
I probably said something back like, “Yer nuts,” and went back to the shelter of my own misery.
I thought he was nuts and succumbing to fatigue toxins but now/ Look, I’ve got nothing, except a Untitled by Reginald Birch

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Reginald Birch
loving wife, a great dog and a fistful of gadgets. Last I heard he was rich with property and kids. Maybe he was right and the wolves have been driven to ground by the lambs. Being fat and drug addled is future and the path to power.
I think the main reason I trivialized Bradbury’s book was that he got away from the point; he got obsessed with his McGuffin and ended up seeing the symbol as the reality. Books aren’t important it’s ideas and communication that important. It’s the ability to dream dreams that aren’t dolloped out to us by those who’ve decided they are our betters and must know what’s best for us.
Bradbury got lost in his symbol, and the symbol is actually pretty trivial compared to what it represents in particular. Francois Truffaut made a banal and bizarre movie out of the book. It fails for too many reasons but the biggest failure is that it latches hardest onto Bradbury’s tunnel vision, and that tunnel vision is that books are somehow the most important conveyor of ideas.A Gem of a Jam
One of the most terrifying concepts I could ever dream of is the conclusion of book and movie. What a terrible fate and how more horrifying that this horrifying fate is presented as somehow heroic, or uplifting. Truffaut would try and convince us that foregoing humanity to become literally become a Victorian novel is somehow an image of hope instead of the grim ugly doom of mankind.
People walking in bright shining snowflakes not talking, not conversing, not sharing but instead reciting the thin useless things that they have become is a nightmare. Why we’re supposed to view this as bright hope of a revolution won will forever escape me.
And while I can appreciate the focus of the book on a single middle class working family it beggars the issue of the governing class, the rulers, the TV program directors. While Bradbury acknowledges that no armed force was needed to stop people from reading (thinking) he sidesteps the issue of who led mankind, or at least Americans to this step.
Like, I went to Buffalo a couple weeks ago. Fist time I’ve flown since the TSA became.
When I was in Europe I used to think that the Brits were incredible wimps. They thrived on that perverse Chandlerian logic, “A drunk driver hits a child and kills the child ergo we ban cars.” It’s a cowardly and stupid thought process and I felt a twinge of pride that Americans were that craven.
I was wrong. Some twerp of a wannabe terrorist puts some explosives on his shoes AND IT DOES NOT WORK but now the rest of America is forced to take their shoes off for special inspection.
A bigger moron boards a plane with explosives in his underwear AND IT DOES NOT WORK so now the entire country has to have their genitals fondled by government employees, and they’re not 7th Street by Mike Campeau

Click images for desktop size: “7th Street” by Mike Campeau
fondling for our benefit or even their own.
(By the way, seeing my wife was great and even in a seedy motel we enjoyed ourselves and for 3 days were able to forget that such a world exists.)
While waiting in line to be fondled I speculated as to whether this was a government plot a Bush doctrine supported by Obama to reduce us to the serf level that they want but it seems to be not so deep. We are already serfs. This indignity is foisted on us so that the elite, the CEO’s who earn more than their entire workforce combined, can feel safe and not have to clutter their purified minds with needless worry about what we might do.
So the terrorist won. The revolution is over and we, the people, lost.
That’s part of what is missing from Bradbury’s book. The allusions are all there but there’s never a peek into the present he’s depicted, never a hint as to who maintains and designs this dead formed A Lady Without a Passport life. Obviously people who’s comfort is more important to them than yours.
It’s a shame the Bradbury avoids the confrontation. It’s one of the several gaps in populism in his books. In fact Preston Sturges evinces more humanism in one scene (In “Christmas in July” when a lower level manager stands up to the owner of the company and says in simplistic but direct terms, “You should care. These are your employees, your family. Everything that happens to them happens to you. To not be concerned is inhuman!” Being a movie the owner takes this harsh criticism.)
So while it was pretty unfair of me to trivialize Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 as adolescent pap it falls far short of being literature. But it’s good enough that this shortcoming saddens instead or angers me.

USC 49 Hawaii 36

Unknown

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Unknown
I didn’t have much of a birthday. Slept 18 hours out of the twenty four.
Woke up on the day with a pretty frightening ripping pain in my chest. Not heart attack pain but justThe Incredible Melting Man as intense.
Thought about going to the hospital but nixed that. Remembered my last emergency room visit: Over Five thousand for a 5 minute EKG and 15 minutes of hanging around. Made me mad at Obama and the Democrats and that weak heath care bill they passed. So I suffered Delores Fuller

Click images for desktop size: “Delores Fuller”
and I slept. The waking time spent taking care of my puppy. She was being overly solicitous so I knew the pain was serious. When I’m just uncomfortable she goes about her business (whatever that is) but when I’m in trouble she does what she can. Sadly most of what she can do is fret and worry, not a good thing for a dog brain to try and process.
So a week later the pain continues. I still do my walking to work. The exercise has no impact on the pain. Neither does work. Work makes it no better and no worse.
There are moments. Moments of light headedness and worrisome moments of extreme and sudden fatigue, so severe that I wasn’t sure I can remain standing let alone walking. Deep weakness and jittery confusion that rested only on the surface.
On Friday I managed to get to the doctors. When you’re going to doctors on the cuff you take what you can get. I remembered all those movies and stories where lives were always at stake and the only solution was raising some insane amount of money, like $35,000 in depression dollars, for an operation. I realized that none of these stories were ever resolved with the surgeon saying, “Hold on a minute! You mean they might die!?! Of course I’ll do Bridge by Clarence Holbrook Carter

Click images for desktop size: “Bridge” by Clarence Holbrook Carter
the surgery for free or at least on credit!”
Many of those stories ended up with the sister dying and/or the brother going to prison for robbing a bank to try and pay the exorbitant medical costs. It’s a cliche.
I spent about 6 hours at the clinics, not counting my travel time. My nook made it a lot easier. It was easy to read. Right now I’m reading Judith Freeman’s “The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved”, which is really just a detailed travelogue of LA, but a travelogue noting the constant decay of my hometown. For Freeman its going to Chandler’s neighborhoods and examining the decay from the 30’s until now. For me its the confirmation of the hell that LA has been enduring.
I remember when I left, or at least decided it was time to leave – in LA mind set and action are pretty much the same thing – I remember thinking my lovely, corrupt ugly home had become hell. I was standing in the Hollywood Hills and could see South LA in flames from the Rodney King RiotsDirty Harry and then to the north west the sky was a black mass reflecting the red fires of the canyon and beach adjacent homes below it.Urban ash and rural detrius caked black and gritty on my face, the leaves and the gray sidewalk. Another beloved puppy at my side swaddled in bandages from her most recent surgery to repair the damage from shotgun pellets and the whole future of LA and my place in it seemed clear and not abundant.
Freeman’s book makes it clear that my vision of the future were discomfortingly accurate.
Freeman’s a novelist, not an historian or a travel book writer so some of her situations are forced and some cheesy like a bad romance writer’s sniffling but for the most part it’s a strong book on an obscure subject. Trying to put Chandler into perspective and giving glimpses into his difficult persona via where he lived and the woman he spent his life with are brilliant endeavors. Its an enthralling book, at least for another native Angeleno.
Of course having a good book made even more convenient via the ebook format didn’t stop me from rummaging through the cabinets in the examination rooms. I still figure that if they cared about the stuff they leave in there they wouldn’t leave me alone with their things for so long.
I found the usual boring stuff but also a brand new rather expensive looking scalpel. My first thought was this was sharper than an exacto knife!
I put it back where I found it instead of lifting it. Not from some petty morality but because this is a free clinic, basically, and I figured that scalpel probably cost enough to force a rise in their prices.
The end result of all the testing and nonsense is that the fluids from my experience with lyrica are still present. In fact they said I’m allergic to lyrica . . . which seems to me to be tantamount to being allergic to hemlock. The shallowness of breath and the chest pain are from a toxic buildup of Untitled by Cole Phillips

Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Cole Phillips
fluid around my heart and lungs.
That sucks.
My grandmother died from congestive heart failure at around 92. My mother did too but she was somewhere around my age. I thought she was a lot oder but as my wife brutally pointed out she might have even been younger than me.
The end result of this is I have to take a diuretic everyday; Hydrochlorothiazide. (I copied the name from the label).
Lots of side effects. The first tablet really wrenched me around. Bad nausea and it felt like an icy hand was rooting around in my chest looking for something that I wouldn’t understand even if the hand found it and pulled it in to daylight.
The other drag is that my blood sugars have to get lower. They want them at hypoglycemic levels. So instead of keeping my blood sugars between 4-7 the new targets are 3-5 . . . rah! They doubled my daily amount of lantus (insulin). It will be interesting to see how this goes.
The lower blood sugars are supposed to help the fluid build up as well as but a stauncher grip on the neuropathy that’s always dogging me.I Married a Communist
Times like this I can’t help but wonder why I’ve survived. There are a lot of people more important to the world, better people who’ve died. And if the lazy French existentialists are right and this is hell then there are a lot more people worse, crueler and badder than me who’ve been granted release.
Lucky for me I’m not very good at keeping those thought processes going to long. There’s always a puppy that needs walking or petting and people who need caring for.
Since my birthday was on a Saturday I think most people forgot about it until their PDA’s and smartphones sent them the reminder on Monday. I got lots of good wishes on the Monday. I liked that.
Getting my wife into the USA continues in its own plodding pace. I want the incumbents out of political office but not to replace with moronic racist tea baggers. What ever happened to good men?

Now all I’ve got is sorrow and pain Joey Ramone

Emily by Jugeminias
Click images for desktop size: “Emily” by Jugeminias
Missing my puppy badly.
I slept better last night. Discovered a plan that semi-worked. Involved a lot of propping with pillowsRabid and proper splaying. I slept for 3 hours straight through.
But dreamt of my puppy. On nights like this she’d tell me puppy jokes, watch over me and recommend a good snack. Being a doctor dog she’d know when to nuzzle me, when to play with me, take me outside, when to have me pet her.
I miss my puppy. Trying hard to not let my desperation for her turn into obsession.
Obsession almost always means you miss the obvious solutions in life.
I’m hoping that tomorrow starts to yield some results to my mad flurry of resume rending job searching. Its time for interviews and time for hoping.
I went to this store, Ross. They have plenty f cheap slacks. They sell Dockers for like eight bucks. I figure dockers are okay for some interviews. I begrudge spending the eight bucks.
I bought some used books yesterday. The trip was to drop off job apps. I got four books for nine dollars. Three of them will be interesting but hardly vital, the find was David Drake’s “Killer”.
“Killer,” is a book I was thinking about months ago. Its a science fiction tale about a vicious killing machine monster that gets loose on earth. What makes this story compelling is that the earth its gone to war with is ancient Rome! And the monsters hunter is a former gladiator!
I’m into the first one hundred pages. The story drags a bit more than I remembered but its still fascinating. There’s some effort made to show the life of free Romans. The history lesson is integrated well into the plot so it hardly feels like you’re learning anything at all! Good stuff.

July 5, 2009



We woke the next morning with heavy growing hearts. A border, an imaginary line meant we had to Enhanced Canadian Wilderness By James Davidson
Click images for desktop size: “Enhanced Canadian Wilderness” by James Davidson
go our own ways.
The Days Inn provided a free breakfast. We decided to save some money and eat it. The breakfast was poor but could fill you up.
The worst part was a tray full of eggs cooked someway that they’re all perfectly round. They are also nearly indestructible. Even though heaped on the plate none of their yolks showed any hint of breaking. I was afraid of them. They did not seem like food but more like the Japanese plastic sculptures of food the restaurants display.
To while away the time until checkout we walked and talked. We thought of strategies, of hopes and of plans. All bright optimistic stuff to avoid thinking of my departure time.
When we checked out we went looking for a bookstore, so I could get something to read on the long bus ride.
We went to Borders. My friend found a couple of cook books and a gluten free magazine she’d never before seen. I couldn’t find anything. The prices for he titles were too high for my remote interest inThe Return of the Vampire them.
We then found a spectacular looking used book store but it was closed on the Sunday. We looked through the windows and regretted the day.
It seemed a nice place to sit and talk and attempt to say goodbye.
Divine Right
Click images for desktop size: “Divine Right” by Marvel
We had lunch at this Irish style pub. I had a quesadilla . . . it was not good but better than I feared.
Following a last second “I need another bungi cord” panic we went to the bus station. We sat and waited. Talked.
There were two US Immigrations cop hanging around. Border Patrol this far from a border? My bus pulled in but we weren’t allowed to board. The Border Patrol had to go in and harass the passengers. They pulled an Indian guy off the bus and were huge jerks. They made him get his luggage and they inspected everything in an incredibly arrogant fashion.
I got on the bus. My friend was in tears. I flashed all the ASL I knew at her. I don’t know if she knew what I was saying. I kept flashing ASL even as the bus pulled out. When we got to the other side of the bus station my friend was out there. She waved. I waved back and watched her walk to her car. I wanted to tell her there’s no sense in crying. No one was dead yet.
So two days out of prison, nearly 4 weeks from a heart attack and here I was on the dreaded Frank Melech
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Frank Mellech
Greyhound. No chance to recover. No chance to breathe.
I had 16 hours to think about things.
I started thinking about the racist cop who started this ugly turn. I don’t like cops. Its their insanity and their presumption I don’t like. After they’ve been at it long enough they start to think that everyone is guilty and its only a matter of time till they have you under the lights burying their saps in your kidneys.
This Scott McVicar wasn’t even unique. I’d noticed that the area cops were almost all of a freaky breed. They remind me of nothing more than the cops in “A Clockwork Orange”. “Just jobs for two who are of job working age!”
They’re thugs too cowardly to run with the gangs and the worst of them who find the gangs to tame for the sadistic hatred they carry in their souls.
The sick part is that they no longer make the cops wear uniforms, not consistent uniforms. They let them fuss and futz with their uniforms to the point that there is no longer any relief when you see aSan Quentin cop. McVicar wore no name tag – ever. He even obscured his badge. He fitted and tugged his uniform and wore so much extra unofficial gear he looked more like a manga character than a cop. He wasn’t alone. The end result is they look like a manga inspired gang that gets to carry guns and openly hate.
I’ve never seen any police force in the world that allowed its cops to customize their uniforms to such an extent that the officers couldn’t be readily identified. Not even in Africa around the equator. They want the police to be readily identified in an effort to stop trouble except in Canada where the by-word is to let the thugs keep the thugs in their place and who cares what they look like.
Suddenly squad car cops are allowed to do investigations. And a cop so stupid and ignorant he thinks everything he sees on the internet is true. And based on that I was thrown in prison. I was never fingerprinted, photographed nor DNA tested. They have no idea if I was even the guy in the story. But on the whim of a racist cop who thinks in sci-fi fantasy cop terms I was arrested and thrown in prison by K.W. (Ken) McMurtrie, an immigration cop who tried to glamorize his role by Frankenstein
Click images for desktop size: “Frankenstein” by Universal
pretending that I was a dangerous arch fiend so he could justify his budget. Then when his speculative case fell apart he lied and tied to justify his heinous acts. He doesn’t care about people. Just about his superiors reaming him about going over budget.
In my friends neighborhood there was a mini scandal. Some 25 year old kid walked up to an old man and punched the old man until he was dead. No one could understand it.
Now I do know what happened. He’d just been released from Maplehurst.
You can’t take a young violent man, throw him in a ell, abuse and debase him through a constant, clearly administratively approved series of verbal, physical and psychological abuse. Reduce his self esteem to less than zero and then give him nothing but time. No encouragement, no chance to improve himself, just encourage his violence, set him up to commit institutionally approved violence against other inmates.
Are the people who set up this system illiterate? Haven’t they bothered to read or even be aware of Shiver of the Vampire the last 60 years of penal work and reform.
MAXSEX (Maximum Security) is harsh. I’ve visited prisoners in MAXSEC in Europe and the USA. I was treated with respect. So were the prisoners. The sort of behavior exhibited by the guards at Maplehurst would not have been tolerated at any of those prisons if only because the type of prisoners in MAXSEC would think nothing of killing a guard ho was insulting and belittling and threatening, but also because everyone knows very few MAXSEC prisoners get life sentences. Most of them will be out on the street. In a true MAXSEC prisoners case every effort is made to attempt to rehabilitate him to avoid just spitting killers back onto the street. They succeed quite often. More than 70%.
The prisoners at Maplehurst are NOT MAXSEC! Shoplifters are not MAXSEC. They do not promote a danger to others around them. Guys on two year sentences for being drunk and disorderly are not MAXSEC.
Maplehurst makes no attempt at education or rehabilitation. They punish. The punish the innocent and the guilty equally. But what else they are doing is training killers. You could even produce an argument proving it is intentional.
It was in the 1930’s that it was shown that the treatment of prisoners especially in modes such as practiced at Maplehurst increased a prisoners propensity to violence and that propensity stayed with the prisoner long after his incarceration had ended. Repeat offenders increased and the repeat offenses were noted for their escalating physical violence.
Forest
Click images for desktop size: “Forest” by Unknown
The punishment administered at hell holes like Maplehurst punishes society far more than it punishes the prisoner.
We got nearer my stop. The bus was over crowded and it was making my shoulder crazy.
I knew instead of thinking of the injustice of the recent past I needed to start thinking about the future or I’d be in trouble.
All I could think about was my puppy.
But she’s not here.
Maybe she never will be again.
I refuse to accept that I deserve anymore punishment. I rebel.

We live and we work so we can die Sam Fuller

D'Amour by Douleur
Click images for desktop size: “D’Amour” by Douleur
I’m re-reading Raymond Chandler’s and Robert Parker’s “Poodle Springs”. That’s the book that was supposedly based on notes and pages Chandler was working on when he died. I’ve heard itsKing Kong anywhere from 5 pages of manuscript to 100.
Anyway, somebody hired Robert Parker to finish the book up.
When I first heard of this I rushed and got it right away. Got it in hard cover. I mean this is literature. Raymond Chandler. When you Hope and Crosby
Click images for desktop size: “Hope and Crosby”
live in pop culture land as much as I do literature that you can actually enjoy, that isn’t some arduous task that will some how make you into a mythic better person, you have to jump on it. Buying it in hard cover made it mean something, made it permanent and real.
I was pretty excited and really sort of sad that it more than a little bit sucked.
Robert Parker isn’t anywhere near the writer Chandler was. Chandler was about the scene, the characters, and the poetry. Parker is about the plot, about the mystery and the crime.
Because of Chandler I’ve read a lot of mystery stuff. Don’t care for most of it.
Part of the problem is that its hard to figure which is Chandler and what is Parker imitating Chandler. Like there’s a scene where Marlowe helps out a gambling cheat who’s also a bigamist. He helps him avoid getting arrested for murder because he saw the guy with his first wife and thought they looked sweet together. That’s not totally inconsistent with Marlowe, but it’s a bit too sentimental to be taken seriously. You wonder how much did Chandler intend to keep and how much was just taking a look at it.
Conquering the World
Click images for desktop size: “Conquering the World” by Unknown
At this stage of his life Chandler did all of his writing into a tape recorder then had it all transcribed. He would then ruthlessly edit the typewritten pages.
Its easy to imagine the meticulousness that he approached his editing. When he submitted his first short story he went through and typed it by himself. Because the cheap pulp magazines used justified margins Chandler went through and typed his manuscript with the same justified margins! This wasn’t mousing over a button and clicking it, he counted letters and spaces and figured it all out.
So even though he typed things out there’s no guarantee that he would have left it in the final story. We all know that Marlowe could get sappy, but he never acted sappy and he never saw killers as friends no matter how much he liked them before they became killers, no matter how sympathetic he might be.
In the book Marlowe is married to the multi-millionairess Linda Loring nee’ Potter from “The Long3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt Goodbye”. Parker has them constantly squabbling about how Marlowe has to be his own man. Chandler never squabbled. You get the impression that Parker had so many great squabble lines that he decided he needed to use them all. Instead of condensing them all down to a bare element he scatters them throughout the story so they become tedious instead of whip smart. After the first squabble you know this marriage is doomed. Chandler would have let us see that love is always present but the people are just too wrong for each other. All the bickering just makes us dislike both of the people and feel relieved when they’re apart.
I even wonder about the title. “Poodle Springs” as a nom de plume for Palm Springs is a little weird. Chandler didn’t like dogs so perhaps he’d have kept it to show his contempt for the desert resort. But the same way he let Faun Lake stand in for Big Bear I don’t think he’d have let his roman de clef predominate the story. It was the location, the air of the scene not the feelings for the place that overwhelmed.
Back in the life where I cared about such things I wrote an adaptation of Chandler’s last original unproduced screenplay. I wrote it so I could make the movie with my friends, shoot it on 8mm stock with sound than transfer it to video for a sale to VHS. It was a good plan and I managed to strip the story down to free to use locations (borrowing from all my friends, their homes and their clubs, restaurants and offices). We even shot a few scenes before the contact I had at the video distributorship told me the cost the Chandler Estate agents wanted for my adaptation. The WGA said that my script contained about 35% of Hannabai by Kurkosawa
Click images for desktop size: “Hannabai” by Kurkosawa
Chandler’s so I had to play ball. Forced me to abandon that little dream.
In rewriting his screenplay and bringing it into contemporary LA, a stripped down LA, I was inadvertently following Chandler’s big advice for how to learn to write. He always preached that you had to read something you liked then sit down and rewrite it in your own words. Not copy it but try to recreate the impact of the scene or the characters.
The by product of this is that I learned more about how Chandler constructed his scenes, what appealed to me and also how different Chandler’s and my view of the world actually is.
In understanding it I grew to appreciate the differences as much as the similarities. I was able to see more clearly his concepts of the world and of LA. It served me well in understanding people, and having compassion for those who are different and those who I think are just wrong.
I guess “Poodle Springs” as flawed and poor as it is still serves some purpose in that it forces me to remember the the LA that Chandler created so that I can recall more vividly the LA I lived in.2001

It rained all weekend. My friend had to work all weekend. Not the best of times. Done now.
My friend meets her new boss today, on the telephone. Conference call thing. Seems odd to me but at least they didn’t ask her to make the 2 hour drive to meet him.
My arms have become ridiculous. I’m bored with the agony. Tomorrow, if I get my bike running today, I get my Doctorate in self Injectology. I’m holding out the wispy hope that insulin might go some way to relieving this grief. So bad that muscles around the pain have turned into walnuts. If I was of the paranoid bent I’d decided the knots are masticized tumors.
The foster dog is amazing. He has to live in his crate with the stupid cone head collar on but he remains joyous. Sometimes a little bit more than required. I’ve only ever had one foster dog who arrived calm. Charles. an old cocker> He was very much about his business and even more so about his pace. Otherwise every foster has arrived full of life, a complete ignorance of most things human, and an inbred compulsion to play with everything.
I think that’s right.

People are like stained-glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Interleaved by LawnElf My mother always had a lot of friends. They were usually young women.
I didn’t understand it at the time but often one of these women would end up staying with us. TheyThe Night Walker were unwed expectant mothers. They had no place to go. Even though we lived in near poverty my mother always opened our home to them.
At first I didn’t understand what pregnant even meant. I just knew it was some lady that worked at the concession stand at the drive-in with my mother. They stayed with us, got fat and then they weren’t around anymore.
Day Dreams by Paul Fischer It always felt a little bit empty when they’d leave.
My mother continued doing this even after she got married. My stepfather didn’t mind having another attractive woman in the house. From my step-father I heard a lot f disparaging phrases: Round heels, shacked up and stupid, knocked up and broke, and one I still don’t really get, tripped the guy and beat him to the ground.
I liked the young women. They’d stare at me sometimes in a funny way I couldn’t grasp but I liked them well enough. One in particular fascinated me. She was a morose girl, from the east coast she was as close to a beatnik as I’d ever seen. She said “cool” a lot and wore black turtle necks and a beret. That’s as close to a beatnik as you could get in Southern California. The climate is not conducive to introspection. She might have been my first love.
She would borrow my red card board record player and play this one album, Gregory Corso’s “Happy Birthday to Death”.
To me this was a weird record. It wasn’t songs. It was this guy, Corso, reading his poetry while this bongo player just wailed away. I liked the bongo’s at least. I’d sit with her while she played this. Partially to protect my precious record player and partly because she’d talk to me. I had little idea of what she was talking to me about but she spoke so seriously and intently it made me feel like I was being treated as an adult.
Pin Up Art by JW McGinnis After one of her soliloquies I felt like I should fill the silence so I’d ask a stupid question that seemed important to me. Like, on the record, it bugged me that after each cut the people didn’t clap and applaud but they’d snap their fingers and shuffle their feet. It seemed weird then and now.
Now I realize it gives me the impression of some guy who got rich for the day at the race track and was at some lurid live sex show and this sweaty guy keeps shouting out, “Oh yeah baby!” while the rest of the raincoat crowd pretends to ignore him.
Anyway after I’d ask my stupid question the beatnik girl (who’s name I can’t remember) would tussle my hair gently, look at me sadly and give me a hug, sometimes even a kiss on the cheek.
I’d just started drum lessons then. I didn’t have a set. I just had the rubber practice pad and anything else that fell under my drumsticks.The Return of Count Yorga
I liked the bongos. Liked them a lot. And then actually found a set at a yard sale. Cost a quarter. I think they were used more for decoration than for playing. Something to throw on the lanai for the tiki torch parties that were popular in the neighborhood.
I’d also only heard bongos on the record. I didn’t know they were played by hand. It only took a couple of days for me to put the drumsticks through the skins. A whole quarter wasted. The price of a comic book down the tubes.
The beatnik girl who seldom noticed me except she was going through some sort of maternal angst, tried to show me how to use them, playing along with her Corso record. I wasn’t interested in her bad music lessons so I listened to the words, Corso’s words:
I stand in the dark light in the dark street and look up at my window,
I was born there.
The lights are on; other people are moving about.
I am with raincoat; cigarette in mouth,
hat over eye, hand on gat.
I cross the street and enter the building.
The garbage cans haven’t stopped smelling.

Frank Sinatra I liked that.
I guess beatnik girl felt some maternal streak and decided to tell me about Corso, stuff she’d read on the record sleeve. Corso got sent to prison 3 times. For stealing a toaster, a suit and breaking into his school to have a warm place to sleep. All before he was 17. He was imprisoned as an adult with Mafia hoods and murders.
Prison scared me. I didn’t think of poets as tough guys who could survive prison. I thought prisons were where you went to die.
I found out it was easier to read poetry than to listen to it. Even with bongos it’s easier to read.
Corso’s stuff was funny and mean. There was a picture on the back of one f beatnik girls books. He looked like a handsome prize fighter.
Poetry had its own music to it. It wasn’t song lyrics. The best song lyrics, to me, are slogans, something to counterpoint the beat.
Poetry carried its own beat. For Corso it was tough and percussive. Words barking out at the night before heading into the long howl of the end of us all.The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
I can’t remember beatnik girl’s name, or her face. But I remember Corso.

I’m getting used to my new mouth. Brushing my teeth is still a hassle. Eating is a chore but not an impossible one.
Blood pressure is still all over the place but always slightly too high.
The pain in my right shoulder is aggravating. I remember that when I had similar in the left it took me three months or more of daily exercise to finally sort it out. Since my left elbow and thumbs are still gimpy I feel a bit lost most of the time. Making coffee is more of a chore. It feels like one of the labours of Hercules getting the kettle plugged in. Reaching for stuff, even light stuff takes grit.
The best thing about this weekend was that my friend has got four days off. Today’s the last of them. I like her being around. I think she likes being around. I like to think that part of her pleasure at being home is that I’m here. Crabby people like to think that they are somehow an asset.
We watched the “hot” new Japanese film, “Ichi”. That’s the rethinking of Zatoichi. It replaces the cool blind masseur with a femme yetar player.
It was terrible. They cast some forgettable J-pop star as Ichi, I figure to try and catch the same lightening that fired the similar in intent “Azumi”.
“Ichi” sucked. It was boring, meandering and a waste of the totally cool actors they did have in it.
Rapunzel by Olivia No humanity. No soul. Bad fighting.

The iMac is giving me big fits. This morning it was all locked up. The UIServer crashed so couldn’t do anything but reboot. Oddly it killed the network connection for some unknown reason. Then had to reboot it again after less than an hour. Everything just locked up and refused to quiesce. Still making daily back-ups, even though I forgot yesterdays.

Time is not measured by the passing of years, but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves Jawaharlal Nehru

Jazz No football this weekend. None.
Why bother with weekends if there’s not a feeling of football.Private Hell 36
It gives me time to think. Who needs time to think? What I think about is life and guilt.
Every time there’s a tragedy there’s a pretty human response to feel like some how you’ve failed. Like you could have done or didn’t do the one thing that could have made things different. Somehow different always feels better.
Maybe its not a human thing. Maybe its a catholic thing, this guilt.
HK Pepnx II But like when the little blind dog died I spent weeks thinking what I could have done to give him more time. When the car died I still keep rolling through my mind what I could have done differently, what I should have done. Even when I conclude that we did what we could there’s another possibility.
This doesn’t detract from addressing issues. It doesn’t bog you down. Maybe Catholics are trained to feel and deal with guilt.
We have found a place that sells cars at a reasonable cost. With a couple that look pretty possible. Used cars but . . .
When you remember that my first 3 cars each cost less than fifty bucks . . . I even got one car that ran until I sold it for a game ball used cars costing over 10 grand kind of freak me.
Some of these cars still have warranty time left so we’ll check it out.
For various reasons that reminds me of stupid errands I did with my second car (the first car, a green 52 Pontiac with the amber indian head for a hood ornament [yes, older even than me] the one where I shoe polished the leather upholstery – the car still ran great, especially with my specially Indians Hunting Buffalo by Charles Russel Marion designed coat hanger choke, but the smell of the shoe polish got you super sick after about 10 minutes).
I was writing songs so I thought I should check out some poetry. I was driving back from the beach when I saw this book store I’d heard of on the wrong side of the street. I did a you turn and went into Papa Bach’s. It was a weird hippie joint. They burned incense which still makes me queasy. They had all these small press books and this line called new directions.
They had this book by William Borroughs. “Naked Lunch”. I thought it was “Naked Came a Stranger” which was like this porno book I’d read about in the LA Times. It was supposed to be an “erotic” novel that was written by a different author in each chapter. Being a kid I was most stunned that women had written some of it. I was still convinced that women hated sex and only endured it with a huge amount of cajoling and pleading. The idea of women writing porn was jaw dropping.Rape Squad
I figured in this hippie shop they’d sell porn even to a grossly underaged kid. So I grabbed “Naked Lunch” (thinking it was “Naked Came a Stranger”, how many books could there be with naked in the title anyway) grabbed a mess of small press poetry and New Directions books (to conceal my real intention was the purpose) and stood there, a fifteen year old surfer in baggies ready to make my purchase.
I went to school that day and spent the whole day reading “Naked Lunch” in class. I didn’t care if it was the wrong book. It had plenty of porn, but all the wrong sort. It was the fact I found it funny, mystifying and well, at that time my world consisted of the beach, football, clubs, school and avoiding my step father.
“Naked Lunch” was about places I never imagined could be, about people I didn’t seriously think existed. I thought it was great.
After reading it through twice in a day I loaned it to my friend Tom. He thought it was crazy but liked some of the funny bits. We began having conversations straight from the book, talking in that weird broken metier of drug addicts and William Burroughs. Our favorite joke became, “I am the Great Slashtubitch and I can tell you fake the orgasm by the way you wiggle your big toe!” I have no idea why we thought it was funny except in some sort of Bevis and Butthead way.
Pretty soon we’d infected the entire football team with the book. About 80 high school kids roaming the halls reciting chunks of “Naked Lunch” to each other was not something I figure the Board of Education would have approved of.
Anime There was an Assistant Principal at school. He was in charge of discipline. That meant he was the guy who gave you detention and called your parents if you were absent or parked your car in the wrong spot or if your muffler was too loud. He carried a hunk of celluloid in his pocket so he could measure your hair to make sure it didn’t cover more than 1 and 1/2 inches of your collar . . . Catholic School.
Thing is, he dug the job, the power we guessed.
His name was close enough to one of the “Naked Lunch” characters, the Sollibees, that we all took to calling him Mr Sollibee (The sollibees were creatures who lived underneath tavern bars, they poked their heads out through holes in the bar to “service” customers while they drank. The name fit our attitude towards him perfectly. Soon the whole school was calling him Mr Sollibee. I don’t think he ever twigged as to why we were all suddenly mispronouncing his name. None of the other teachers did either. At least we never caught any of them laughing.
Because that book was such a hit I checked out the other things I’d picked up that day. I wasRide The Pink Horse amazed. Kenneth Patchen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso. Beat poets.
None of them helped me write any songs but they led me to believe that poets were the next Superman. I read how Corso used to read his poetry to a simple bongo accompaniment, which still sounds totally cool to me. And Kenneth Patchen explained the movies in his head and made them sound cooler than “The Great Escape” and “A Fistful of Dollars” combined.
I rally thought these were the guys who had powers “far beyond those of mortal men”. I doubt if they helped me write better lyrics . . . (look for me babe but I ain’t there; could hardly stand improvement . . . ) but I felt these guys understood parts of the world that I sensed were out there but had never seen. I thought that they had the map to something important. Something important to me and to the world and that it was a power they had, power louder than my Fender amp. I liked them, adored them and didn’t want to be Jeanne D'Arc by Michael Parkes like them but I wanted to know what they knew even while I thought it was impossible.
Their effect on me was that I lead the conference in yards and touchdowns that season.
For the first time in my life I wanted to go someplace that wasn’t in California.

Its been cold here. But we seem to be in the middle of a snow drought. There’s enough snow on the ground to keep everything pretty and the constant snow means the dogs and I have got solid paths wending through the yard. Great paths that lead no where but are easy to follow.
The giant dog has suddenly decided he won’t go outside without me. I have no idea why. His attitude hasn’t changed and when we go out together he gets full on dog play crazy. Bears watching.The Shining
A couple of weeks ago the gentle dog went to work with my friend. He got so excited he leapt in the air and landed sleeping on the ice. Lately we’ve noticed that he starts to limp every time he first gets up from sleeping or just lying around. Its not a bad limp and it vanished pretty quickly. He has no tenderness in his legs and no change in his attitude. Walking him is still like walking a kite. So I worry. Today started to give each of them 500 mg of Glucosamine to lubricate their joints. Reports as events warrant.
Of course my puppy still loves me and I love her.

Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time Abraham Lincoln

Erotic Apera by Alex Varenne

Click images for desktop size: “Erotic Opera” by Alex Varenne
I wasn’t very overwhelmed with the inauguration speech.
Somehow it reminded me of a my old physics professor berating the class for doing so poorly on anHere Comes Mr Jordan exam that he had to throw out the bell curve.
I don’t mind being underwhelmed. FDR was not a very magnificent speaker and he pulled this country out of a similar set of nasty circumstances.
I was very disheartened by the actions and comments of people like Rush Limbaugh. I mean there’s a fat kid who clearly had his butt kicked every day when he was growing up and now has so much nastiness left in him that all the other fat kids with bruised rear Penguins by Wallpaper Coll

Click image: “Penguins” by Wallpaper Collection
ends follow him slavishly.
And the other Republican antics are just so much dross that its apparent they’re committed to becoming a third party.
One thing is that Cheney reminded me of was Mussolini. An evil man as judged by history who viewed himself as compassionate and who cared for his people. He did not think he lied. He thought he was being Machiavellian clever.
There was this odd book, “Inferno” by Larry Niven. I don’t usually like much of Niven’s stuff but this book had an interesting conceit.
It retold Dante’s “Inferno” in the simplest Cliff Notes way possible. The guide through the Seven Circles of Hell was Benito Mussolini.
Here the endless damnation, pain and torment was not seen as an end in and of itself. The layers of hell were seen not as a test but a rite of purification. A voyage through lakes of boiling blood and burning pitch to self awareness and discovery. So that by making the long path of torture through hell one can finally understand themselves and rise up to heaven.
Girl, Scotty and Violin by Archie Dickens

Click images for desktop size: “Girl, Scotty and Violin” by Archie Dickens
The book uses people like Billy the Kid to show how this rite can be abandoned but not failed. “Inferno” eventually ends up listing the seven circles of hell the same way De Sade’s last book descended into being a simple lists of tortures he wished he been able to try.
Its an nteresting read and as Mussolini details his sins and regrets it is words that belonged in Dick Cheney’s mouth. Cheney has implemented torture and been directly responsible for the death of thousands and still feels no regrets.
Who moreso deserves hell and an eternity of struggling through the lake of boiling blood.
Not even Bush, moving into his restricted multi-million dollar home has been so callous, unrepentant, blame shifting and vile he’s a man doomed by himself.
Here’s to a future.The Incredible Shrinking Man

My puppy’s aun made a suggestion: that we look for a year old car that still has a few years left on the warranty. A pretty good idea. The main stumbling block is that brand new cars can be had with 0% financing. That might make the slightly used car more expensive. We’ll have to keep searching though. Its worth investigating.
One idle thought I’d had was trying to pick up a junker, “Transportation Cars” they call them in the ads. Something to last a few months until the Honda hybrids come out. The price on them seems to keep rising but its still cheaper than most out there and 63 mpg is pretty cool.
So much to consider and time is like a taxi meter right now.