Author's posts

Smoldering Embers in Iran

I read a comment to a diary last Saturday that spoke of the forces that have been suppressed by the Iranian government. There remains a deep resentment in many of the people of Iran for both the way the election was handled as well as the way the demonstrators were dispatched from the streets.

Their sense of disappointment will simmer below the surface for a long time, much like the feelings many in America felt over the past eight years. We were able to vent and rage and rant in ways that will not be tolerated in Iran.

All of this got me thinking about a poem I wrote in the early eighties. I want to share that poem with you, so hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls…

PBS Newshour – How to Lose Weight (really!)

Dr. Kessler (former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration) Delves Into the Mysteries of Food Cravings and Overeating

Health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser
to author Dr. David Kessler about overeating and what is behind people’s cravings, the subject of his new book, “The End of Overeating”

On Tuesday evening’s Newshour, Dr. Kessler made some very interesting observations regarding the food industry’s neurological manipulations of people who eat their products.

The food industry has been able to figure out the bliss point, the optimal combinations of fat and salt, fat and sugar, fat, sugar and salt that you think tastes good, but when you look at the science, we now know that those ingredients stimulate, they activate the brain’s circuitry.

To find out what the ONE simple thing people can do to lose weight, hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls…

A Trip Down the Memory Hole – Part Two

It’s Sunday – the proverbial day of rest. Do you really want to work today? – to trouble your mind with all the up-to-the-minute national and world events and developments? Or would you rather take it easy, slow down a little bit, and contemplate a few other issues in your life?

Let it go.

I know I kinda left readers hanging at the end of yesterday’s short diary A Trip Down the Memory Hole which ended with this:

At this point, I have to stop writing. It’s late, I’m tired, and I want to watch the end of the movie and go to sleep. I can continue this tomorrow.

Let it go.

I had intended to continue that thought in today’s diary, but a whole new set of “compulsive” writing has arisen, as you will see below.

Let it go.

Rather than working today, wouldn’t it be much more pleasant to take a waltz with me down Memory Lane?

(As you read this diary, please try to remember that this is all about memory.)

A Trip Down the Memory Hole

I have started writing compulsively again. In the past, I have had periods of time when I was consumed by an idea, or more likely, by a whole set of ideas, and I would write obsessively, but it has been quite some time since the last episode.

Over the course of the past month or so, I have been living through extended periods of lucid thought, recalling past experiences in great detail, essentially reliving the times and moments and places and people from various periods of my life. Often, the memories cut across time, linked not by time or place, but by the flow of thematic connections and relations. Also, there is a strong kinship with the concept expressed in the title of (1) Borge’s short story “The Garden of Forking Paths,” if you can imagine.

This stream-of-consciousness can be triggered by almost anything: a picture, a word, a phrase, a bit of music. I have let these memories flow, twist, and turn and only when they have subsided did I sit down to write a few notes, with the notation “DKos” on the top, providing just enough information for me to re-trigger the flow at a later time. I have twenty or thirty of these short notes stacked on my desk, none of which have actually become diaries.

The following diary, a nearly verbatim transcription from last night (Friday), started out as one of those short notes subsequent to an overwhelming series of detailed memories. As usual, I got my 5×8 yellow legal notepad and was about to start writing a note when I realized I couldn’t remember the initiating thought which had launched the thread. Oh well. I restarted the DVD I had been watching before this event triggered…and immediately put it on pause. One flash view of the first image on the screen brought it all back in all its flooding glory.

A Green Freeway from Canada to Mexico

There was an article in today’s local newspaper about a “Green Freeway” stretching from Canada to Mexico. It would pass through only three states, all led by progressive Governors and Legislatures (or at least two of the governors.) There are only a few places in America where you can drive from Canada to Mexico and cross only three states. (But how progressive is Utah?)

As the plan stands, motorists eventually would be able to pull off at I-5 rest stops for more than a cup of coffee and roadside relief: They also would be able to charge, or swap out, their electric-vehicle batteries or fill their tanks with biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen or compressed natural gas.

There are, of course, hurdles, challenges, and obstacles which must be confronted before any of this becomes a reality.

Hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls.

“The Investigation”

I was reading Cassiodorus’s Through the Looking Glass on Abrupt Climate Change, which is quite a good read, and realized that this was the third time this week that I’d seen that same quote he uses from Humpty Dumpty.

The other two citations, which I have no idea where they are, were both in the context of the Obama/Mcbush mashup this past week. The English language has been sorely abused these last eight years, by politicians and the traditional media, and I expect things will only get worse as the campaign season runs on.

Some years ago I used that same quote from Lewis Carroll as an epigraph to a short story. I’d like to share “The Investigation” with you now, so…

Hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls……

Imagine you are in a bar talking with Granny Doc…

This is in response to Granny Doc’s diary “This is going to be hard to write…” over at the “Big Orange.” It started out as a comment and ballooned into a full-blown diary.

If you are not familiar with Granny Doc’s writing, check her out. If nothing else at least read “This is going to be hard to write…”

DISCLAIMER: I have no idea if Granny Doc would ever agree to meet with you in a bar (or even if she visits bars on occasion.)

Hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-lls.

Liveblogging 101: Meta

If you search Wikipedia or on-line dictionaries for “liveblog” or any of the word’s variations, nothing turns up. Yet, if you google it, over 17,000,000 hits show up. It is obviously a word and its use is widespread. But what does it mean?

There have been many liveblogging events over on dailykos and every time I’ve clicked on one to check it out, it has been an utterly useless waste of my time. I don’t have cable TV, so my hope, when I log in to a liveblog, is to get information and perspectives on events that I can’t witness as they happen. Maybe even direct quotes from (or paraphrases of) the substance of the dialog. Or summaries! Instead, I get tons of irrelevant comments and sidebar debates that do absolutely nothing to illuminate me on the event. So many comments such as – “Obama’s reponse was great!” – and when I click on it, nothing – neither the question, nor the response is provided. Plus, the commenter didn’t even have the courtesy of amending their comment with n/t (no text) or eom (end of message.)

Does anyone else here think that liveblogging could be a much more effective tool than it has been in its recent manifestations? If so, hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls.

A must-read article on theWar On Iraq-An Iraqi Perspective

This diary is written in response to Pam In Calif’s comment to my comment to BarbinMD’s front page article, over at the Big Orange, George Bush’s Foundation of Peace.

Raed Jarrar (Iraq Consultant to the American Friends Service Committee. He blogs at Raed in the Middle.) wrote an article today titled “The Iraqi Civil War Bush and the Media Don’t Tell You About” which presents an Iraqi’s perspective on the civil war in Iraq that I have never heard before. Raed is one of the few bloggers that our beloved Riverbend (MIA since 10-22-07-I wish we’d hear from her) links to on her site. (I like that titles their section on Iraq “War on Iraq” as compared to the usual “War in Iraq.”)

For my take on Raed’s article, hop in a barrel and follow me over the f-a-a-a-alls


With all of the horrors inflicted upon us-as so well documented here at DD and elsewhere-it’s good to take a mind-break and go somewhere else.

This is a short story I wrote about 12 years ago. It was published in Bricolage, which has about 500 readers, in 2002. It used to be online but has since been taken down (along with everything else from 2001 and thereafter.)

I’ve been thinking about posting this here for quite a while and have finally decided to do so.

I recommend that you have a dictionary at hand or have another browser window opened to an online dictionary. (My brother laughed when I made this same recommendation to him, but later admitted that a “few” of the words were unfamiliar to him.)

I wrote the last sentence of this story first. Originally it had almost 500 words, but for the purposes of the story I edited it down to a mere 365 words. (Bonus points for anyone who can guess why it was originally just under 500 words.)

I hope y’all enjoy reading The Golden Peach as much as I enjoyed writing it.












POTUS-A Taxing Job (Snark)

Some people claim that holding the office of the President of the United States of America ages a person at the rate of 3-to-1.

Norris, an ardent supporter of Mike Huckabee, told reporters he believes serving as president accelerates the aging process 3-to-1.

Even with all of the bike riding, brush clearing, and extensive vacations the toll on bush has been obvious. Here is a photo of him in 2000:


For a recent photo, and I know, who wants to take another look at his criminal mug, but bear with me, hop in a barrel and follow me over the fa-a-a-a-alls…

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