Monday, February 29, 2016

Under protest

Have you looked at the calendar today? It’s the 29th of February, which only happens every four years. This means 2016 is 366 days long, so everybody is getting a day’s free rent, which is a good deal and may help to stimulate the economy depending how consumers decide how to spend this windfall. That’s the good part. The downside for me is that the powers that be have chosen to add an extra Monday to February, which makes extra work in the form of this rant. I’ll write it, but damned if they get their full 100 words.

Monday, February 22, 2016

By way of clarification.

You might think that Balingtwine, Chickenwire, Tarpaper, and Stovewood would be a good name for a firm of attorneys in maybe a Three Stooges or Ritz Brothers short. You’d be half right. It’s a good name alright. But it’s not the names of four lawyers. It’s for a big barn-like supply company that offers essentials to a largely rural clientele. In fact, the only items they sell are baling twine, chicken wire, tarpaper, and stove wood. So the words on the sign have nothing to do with the names of the proprietors, Bob Jorgensen and his sons Bill and Jimmy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Seriously. Nothing.

Sometimes on a Monday morning I feel like dang I haven’t got a clue what to write. And I start dreaming of some sort of system I could utilize to craft clever and thought-provoking nanoessays for me on those occasions when my powers of observation and synthesis are slow in kicking in. Maybe a little paper wheel that randomly juxtaposes dissimilar topics to create a new and engaging conceptual Gestalt? Or I could try the old monkey trick, although in this day and age it’s hard to know where a guy could pick up an infinite number of typewriter ribbons.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bird is still the word

Phil Woods died last September. He finished the last tune of  his last gig, announced his retirement, and left his saxophone on stage. About two weeks later he was dead. Here’s his advice for everyone who spends time putzing with their tools. Apparently, he had an alto sax he thought was holding him back till he lent the horn to Charlie Parker. "I'm listening to Bird play… and it occurs to me there's nothing wrong with the mouthpiece, nothing wrong with the reed. Even the strap sounded great... I stopped looking for the magic instrument and started to practice more."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Man: the barricades

There’s been a lot of loose talk about rebuilding a strong middle class, like that was inarguably a good thing. But look, by definition, what’s it in the middle of? An upper class and a lower one, right? What’s so great about that? Being in the middle of a herd of ruminants is pretty comfortable. In back, you’re more likely to get picked off by predators, while out in front you might have to make choices. But for humans? Your primary function is as part of a large fleshy levee to protect your moneyed betters from waves of impoverished peons.