Thursday, September 11, 2014

We Shall Never Forget

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. 
I have absolutely no rights to the composite nor the individual images. See 

There will be much written and spoken this 13th year after the ignominious attacks by terrorists upon the USA. They were not the first, nor will the be the last. Unlike those that came before, we watched the September 11, 2001 attacks live, in high resolution color, in every way and from any direction possible. In horror.

My wife woke me shortly after the first airliner struck the World Trade Center. We watched with the rest of the nation as the second plane struck the other tower. We watched in inevitable horror, shock and resignation as the terrorists piloted a third jet into the Pentagon. The crash and disintegration of the fourth passenger plane in a field in Pennsylvania was a bitter aftermath to the horror of the morning and early afternoon's carnage.

While I have aged along with everyone else since then, the nightmare images persist in memory. Their immediacy, the feeling of helplessness to affect the outcome of the events of the day rage in my chest today as they did then, replacing the calm strength and vitality that once were my stock-in-trade response to tragedy and chaos as a firefighter and medic.

I shall not forget unto my dying day. Will you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Foolish Penguin...

Too hot to work, so just napping. Got to hit the road, real soon now.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Echoing Sentiment Heard On Letterman ...

Labour Day, 2014

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

It is given that you will run for President of the United States again in 2015. Like Adlai Stevenson (RIP), you won't win, for all the wrong reasons. You do yourself a grave disservice, assuring defeat, by being out and about, punditing your way through TV interviews ostensibly about your new book. Cut it out. We all know you are angling to be nominated. Give it a rest. You will be nominated.

So, give us all a break -- take your miscreant husband and go on vacation in the Bahamas for, oh, say, a year or so. We'll like you a whole lot more in your absence than we will with Clintons crunching underfoot every time we turn around.

Oh, and Rick Perry? If you are really serious about running, which I doubt, stay home and keep your mouth shut for the next year, too. Just saying...

Saturday, August 09, 2014


The Jim Hensen Company just put this up on YouTube in HD.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why, Yes, I DO Hate the Catholic Church

Recent events have raised my internal red flags. In fact, my personal "Devil's Advocate" has been anxiously bouncing up and down, imitating a Sea Cucumber and just generally been a massive PITA ever since the appointment of an old-style Socialist to head the Vatican.

Now, I hate conspiracy theories. I become even frostier when it comes to those who promulgate this nonsense. So imagine my chagrin that it is my own slip showing in this debacle. What 'debacle' am I referring to, you ask? None other than the rapid escalation in unaccompanied children illegally crossing our borders from Central and South America.

This situation smacks very clearly of socialist engineering or brinksmanship. Latin American parents are not, nor ever have been, culturally biased towards sending their children to the North alone. From personal observation, these folks fiercely love and protect their offspring. It is not the cultural norm to abandon their children to an uncertain future in the US, with or without distant relatives to care for them. No. Despite how stagnant or depressed their local economy may be, sending their children off on an unaccompanied journey to cross the border with a guide (coyote) at an expense of $5000 to $7000 USD per child with no guarantee of success is not something most Latina mothers will do. Someone, someone highly trusted and considered beyond reproach has convinced these parents that it is safe to send their children. There is only one class of people with that kind of trust in Latin America. Parish priests. And this issue has only reached crisis proportions in the past two years. The two years since "Papa Francisco" ascended to the papacy (3/13/13). He is a Jesuit. His writings are clearly Socialist. Ipso facto. Roman Catholic priests are actively encouraging parents to send children to the States. No other answer fits.

No, I can not furnish proof. Even if I could, I wouldn't. At this point, all I have done is give voice to internal suspicions. Prove it and I become a target. While I only have a few years left, I really don't want to spend them looking over my shoulder. Because, I have witnessed the reach of the Gnomes of Rome and what lengths they can and will go to to protect the Mother Church. Squashing me would be all in a day's work.

Skillet-baked Cinnamon Roles

No oven, so baked in a covered cast iron skillet. Only one (the center) got too dark on one side. Used the standard cooking time but turned over halfway through baking. By the way, there were eight a short while ago, and it's just me and the pooch at home this afternoon.

And So It Goes...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's taken seventeen years to reach this state ...

A redneck spring is in full progress here in Baton Rouge. There's a riot of colors as flowers and trees bloom. The Magnolias are magnificent... even scrawny little twig-like transplants in front of new stores have put out a dozen blooms. And the snakes and insects -- "Oh, My!" as George Takei is fond of saying.

Something new, yet very old, has been added to the mix. CICADAS. They're in full swing, their 17-years long life span is winding down. The full moon had them singing from the tree tops. Presently, they are trying to drone out the sound of the weekend gardeners, mowing, tilling, sawing and weed whacking peace and quiet into memories. They are close, but haven't succeeded, yet (the CICADAS, not the Weekend Warriors).

Here's a delightful, mesmerizing video on the life of CICADAS, directed and produced by Sam Orr with music soundtrack score by David Blaine. This is a Kickstart crowd-funded production. If you'd like to contribute go to to add your support for this worthy project.

P.S. Does anybody have an idea on how to embed a Vimeo video from a Kindle HD into Blogger? That is the link above to a great video but darned if I could get it to embed. And So It Goes...

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Spring is in full swing in this small corner of Louisiana. Birds are flying through on their way North that haven't really been seen here all winter. But what I'm most recently proud of was identifying the "smooch ... Smooch" call of a Northern Mockingbird. We rarely see them in Maine and I don't consciously recall hearing one on the farm since moving there from Vermont in the mid 70's. All accomplished with "Merlin", my bird ID app on my iPhone from Cornell.

Happy Spring folks.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Disability From The Inside Looking Out

I've been reading Jay since she was barely out of her teens, discovering herself amid the absurdities of urban Toronto as a fledgling drinker, socialite and social worker. She's come a long ways, baby...

"I am the face of disability. It's not necessarily (hopefully not, anyway) the face you expect to see getting out of the car in a handicapped parking space, but not every disability comes with age, and not all are visible."

"We call them "hidden disabilities" although if you have known me over the past 10 years, you'll know I have trouble hiding it, as much as I'd like to. I have chronic pain. Deep and abiding pain. Pain that never gets better but does get a whole lot worse, at inconvenient times, and in suprising and sometimes humiliating ways. I have an incurable disease, an "orphan disease" which is a pitiable term meaning that there are no doctors in my country with any kind of knowledge of it, and there is no funding being allocated to rectifying that. When I meet a new doctor, I have to spell out my disease so they can Google it, and then I am their guinea pig while they throw treatments at me just to see if any stick. They never really do. I wake up in pain every day of my life. No, that's not quite true. Some days I don't wake up because I was in too much pain to sleep. My good days are more than enough to keep most people in bed but I lived that life in the early years of my diagnosis, and it's not for me. Lots of people with my disease are on disability, but I'm trying not to be one of them. Instead, I structure my life around my pain in order to live as fully as I can..."
Do read the whole entry at her blog Kill The Goat. It's an enlightening piece.

This Is Gonna Hurt...

photo borrowed from The Flying Tortoise
original copyright holder unknown.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mardi Gras

Today is Fat Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent, the traditional day for Carnivale in Rio de Janiero and Mardi Gras here in Louisiana. Sadly, it's grey, rainy and bitterly cold in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Those who would normally flash their naughty bits are seeking padded bras rather than beads. There are no bare cheeks in chaps on Bourbon Street this afternoon as rain and temps in the 30's drown gay boy's exuberance.

It was 29°F this morning, icing overpasses and bridges in spots at sunrise. Temperatures climbed a few degrees, but not very far. Today was the 32nd freezing day in Red Stick this Winter. Unusual, but not a record. With climate change accelerating as the polar ice decreases (Yes, Virginia, global warming is real), vernal swings are to be expected to occur more frequently. With the Jet Stream resembling a Sine wave on an oscilloscope, these unpleasant swings are happening within a shortening period.

Having noted a -1°F reading in Bangor the other day, I am NOT complaining, merely observing. I am much happier at 70° one day and 32° the next than I'd be below zero.

Anyway, let the good times roll, just don't forget your longjohns and umbrellas.

And So It Goes.