Monday, April 30, 2007

moi would like to ring that duck's neck

The poison ivy, weeds, ticks, and humidity are on the rise. The river's up, but going down. The morels (and morals) are no where to be found. Summer's on the way.

Forget to mention this but last week I saw 12 ring-necked ducks, all adults, in breeding colors, on the MO. River in the Lisbon Chute. Besides being a first, seeing 12 (at different times) made the id pretty sound for the nascent birder that moi is. They were hanging out near the shore and as I slowly made my way upstream they would fly out over the water. Notice that the ring is on the bill, not the neck. Why? Search moi?
Photo Courtesy Toledo-Bend.Com


Geez. Wake up this morning to my coffee, oatmeal, and daily dose of the NYTimes only to find that someone opened fire at a shopping center in Kansas City yesterday afternoon. Moi, who spent much of the beautiful spring (almost summer-like) day paddling on the Kansas River and who has no tv was oblivious to the mall mayhem happening in the city the day before. Apparently some middle-aged-white-guy with-a-gripe, mysteriously drawn to the Target logo, went psycho and started killing folks. I know there's the very occasional nutty South Korean out there, but if we want to stop these things from happening we really have to make it much more difficult for middle-aged-white-guys with-a-gripe to get guns because they ALL have anger management issues. Anger management issues and loaded weapons are not a safe mix! When are we going to learn this? The other option is to continue to pump the airwaves full of televised sports because for the most part this appears to keep the middle-aged-white-guy with-a-gripe safely esconsced on the couches where they belong and away from the rest of humanity.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

guy walks into a bar

ok. Guy walks into his favorite bar and sits down, orders a beer, looks over and see's a man sitting at the end of the bar dressed in a cheerleader costume: makeup, earrings, lipstick, pompons on the bar, the whole getup. Bartender brings the guy his beer, the guy leans over the bar, ''psst, Joe, everyday I come in here after work, have my two beers, go home to my wife and kids, get up the next day and go back to work, the same thing over and over. Today, though, everything's the same except when I get to the bar, order my beer and then I look over and there's a man dressed up like a cheerleader at the end of the bar. whaddup' wit dat?" Bartender nonchalantly wipes the counter, takes the guy's money and says, ''some dude from Texas''.

Next day. Guy walks into the same bar after working all day, sits down and orders his beer from Joe the bartender. The guy takes a long pull off the beer, looks over and sees the same man from the day before sitting at the end of the bar except this time the man's wearing a kilt and he's got hammers, rulers, chalk line, pliers, all kinds of worker's gear hanging off the kilt, PLUS he's wearing a hardhat. When the guy see's this he can't help it, he coughs beer all over the counter. Joe comes over, wipes up the mess on the bar. Guy whispers. "Joe, uhhh, man at the end of the bar....?" Joe turns, shakes his head, walks away and mutters "some dude from Texas".

Very next day. Same guy walks into the same bar, sits in the same place, orders his same beer. Looks over, sees the seat at the end of the bar is unoccupied and let's out an audible sigh. "Long week?" Joe asks.

"Yeah," the guy says "helluva week. Thank God it's over. You know I just don't understand the world anymore, I used to, but now it seems that it's all topsy-turvy. Everywhere I turn seems there’s something new and crazy going all. Cross-dressers. Macho men in utili-kilts. Wars everywhere. I just don’t get it."

Bartender says, "hey buddy, this is America, people got a right to be whoever they want. Anybody wants to come in my bar is welcome and if you don't like the company you can leave! Think you can have a beer after work in Iraqi? Ever think about that?"
"You're right" the guy says, "I'm just stressed out. Long week."

Guy finishes his beer and orders an another. Pretty soon a beautiful woman comes into the bar and sits down right next to him. She orders a double martini, neat, which she proceeds to gulp. "Bartender" she points to the empty glass and makes a circle with her hand. Another double martini straight down the hatch. Again, "bartender!".

"Whoa, Nelly," the guy says, "I know it’s Friday but shouldn’t you take it a little slower?"

The woman turns, pulls the curls from over her eye, and weakly smiles. "Here’s to love."

"To love!" Their glasses klink. "Joe! Another round, this time I’ll have what this lovely lady is having."

"You don’t want that," the lady says. "No. No you don’t. You see, I just got a call from my husband who was stationed in the Green zone. A couple of nights ago they were on patrol and an IUD went off and blew shrapnel through the window. He was driving. Tore off his right arm, part of his left hand, half of his nose. He’s alive, but will never be the same."

"Oh my God, I so sorry" the guy says, puts his arm around her. "I thought we making progress over there? How does that stuff happen?"

Bartender tops off the martinis. Looks ém both in the eye and says, "I’ll tell you how it happens, it’s simple - some dude from Texas."

Friday, April 27, 2007

corporate politics or ballottine de choux farci et marrons

It's April 2007. The next Presidential election is November 2008. The campaign is in full swing and the media has begun to use labels like top-tier, mid-level, and LUZR to refer to candidates based not upon values, but upon jowl-lines and campaign contributions.

The Democrats held their first debate in South Carolina last evening and apparently Dennis Kucinic is still the only one among them who has a working knowledge of the U. S. Constitution. Obama, who may be articulate, is no Hillary, and Clinton, who may understand tragedy, is no Edwards.

At the annual Lincoln Day dinner in Des Moines, the only black person in town who cares about dumpy old white men was rounded up and forced to listen to drivel while eating bad hotel food. Afterwards he was forced to watch white folk try and dance to such foot stomping tunes as "Freebird"performed by Mike Huckabee's band. He left undecided.

Time to move to France?

Monday, April 23, 2007

switch-hitting behemoth

The 2007 Limited Edition Rookie Cards have just been released and as promised they are BIGGER and BETTER than any previous editions.
Did you know that over the last 20 years rookie cards have increased in value at rates that exceed those for gold bullion, the stock market, and blue and jazz 78's. We've taken the first step to MAXIMIZE your potential by increasing the size of this year's cards by more than an order of magnitude (dimensions vary slighty). These limited edtion cards are sure to standout in any collection.

2007 Limited Edition Rookie Card. Acrylic and polymer with found objects. Printed on 100% archivable, recycled materials. 24 in. x 48 in.

Friday, April 20, 2007

post-modern breakfast

Ingredient list.
8-10 fresh oysters, Blue Point, Apalachicola, Malpaque, etc.*
3-4 garlic cloves minced
2-3 slices challah bread (or substitute brioche), toasted
1/2 diced tomatoes, drained (retain liquid)
1/2 diced chopped red peppers
diced fresh jalenpanos to taste
1 T. high quality balsamic vinegar
fresh ground black pepper to taste
pinch of black tuffle salt
3-4 large eggs seasoned w/ black pepper and truffle salt and prepared for scrambling.

Shuck oysters, set aside (retain liquor and combine with tomato juice).
Heat butter and oil in saute pan.
Add garlic, peppers and quickly saute until tender.
Pour in liquor, tomato juice and reduce. Add balsamic. Continue reduction.
When liquid volume is reduced by 2/3's add oysters, turn off heat, and cover.
Scramble eggs (1 minute) until soft. This is precisely the amount of time it takes to plump the oysters. Do not overcook either! Immediately turn the eggs onto the toasted bread slices which have been arranged on plate.
Remove oysters, now plump and lay on eggs. Spoon sauce around edges.
Serve immediately with expresso or robust french press.
Serves 2 or 1 protein-starved adult.
Total cooking time with shucking, approximately 45 minutes.
*If you have very fresh and flavorful oysters, skip all remaining steps and enjoy raw on the half-shell.
m.o.i.: post-modern breakfast
m.o.i: standards updated
m.o.i: bison burger
m.o.i: chili 'n out
m.o.i: bioaccumulation
m.o.i.: inventory reduction dinner
m.o.i.: autumn trout
m.o.i.: life is corny
m.o.i.: purple food, purple food
m.o.i.: Fruit cobbler for breakfast?

a side dish of nyotaimori

The NY Times says that within 5 years they will no longer publish a paper copy. The Chicago Tribune has also made similar statements. Readers of the online version of the Times will surely have observed the changes that have begun to creep into the online coverage. The greater and greater reliance on TimesSelect articles (which require a subscription). More and more audio and video pieces are relayed daily. What's interesting about the video pieces is that from a journalistic standpoint, they are often much longer and more detailed than anything on television news. 5 minutes is an eternity on tv, but not so much time if you consider yourself a serious journalist.

Even Michael Kimmelman, who one imagines might believe that having to stoop to vlogs is a step down from 5000 word essays, has recently weighed in with a vlog about the re-opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art's Roman wing. This wing has been closed for 15 years for renovation. Only in NY could it take 15 years to renovate something, but as this vlog shows, it may have been worth the effort. Now, you can preview the wing from your desktop and be reminded of the importance of Hellenistic and Roman art to our culture. Kimmelman, ever the art critic/historian has covered all bases with the obligatory 5000 word essay. So gentle readers and viewers enjoy both or let everything loose and go for the full menage (there's also a slide show) .

Another vlog that I enjoy is the Minimalist, cooking by Times food columnist Mark Bittman. These weekly vlogs showcase short, easy, nutritious meals that can be done in 15-30 minutes. As one who cooks daily, sometimes 3 meals, I really enjoy these pieces. They are sort of an up-dated American version of Pierre Franey's 60-minute gourmet, although M. Franey, a former 3-star chef, would most likely be mortified (and M. Bittman estactic) by such a comparisions. Never-the-less, check it out, you'll find a delightful meal awaits you at the end. Much better than the Law and Order of the food channel, Emeril.

Next up. m.o.i.: post-modern breakfast
m.o.i: standards updated
m.o.i: bison burger
m.o.i: bioaccumulation
m.o.i.: inventory reduction dinner
m.o.i.: autumn trout
m.o.i.: life is corny
m.o.i.: purple food, purple food
m.o.i.: Fruit cobbler for breakfast?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

introducing, in left field, starting for the first time...

Ok let's talk about something positive, regardless of what may have happened yesterday. I'm still processing that one and it hasn't been pretty, even for one far removed from the events.

Baseball. Early in the season. Everyone still full of hope. Your team has a chance to strut their stuff. Well, here's moi's early guide to the baseball season.

First place: Cardinals

Last place: Royals

Even though there's still plenty of season left, don't expect these numbers to change a whole lot. Why? Simple friends. You can't run a baseball team like a Walmart franchise. The Royals hopes of ever fielding a decent team largely went south with Mr. K, who although was definitely fond of money, apparently felt that he had enough of it to give large amounts away in other pursuits, but the big difference is that he really cared about winning. The Walmarkians, well, they apparently are as dumb as their stores, and just as full of quality merchandise. What happened to great Royals farm teams who developed talent? Don't whine about the small market franchise without looking at some of the other teams who play in similar sized markets. Minnesota? St. Louis? St. Louis is arguably the second-best franchise in sports (behind the Yankees) history. Why are they so good and the Royals so bad? Management.

Fear not, fearless fan. There's always something to cheer about if you love the game. Rookie Alex Gordon, off to a slow start but maybe he's the next George Brett? Maybe not. Let's hope he's as good as he was in the minors.
So here' in the spirit of a Walmart closeout is a "Limited Edition Rookie Card" from last year 2006. Dimensions vary slightly, ~4 in by ~6 in. This year's card will be out within the week.
So act now, before they are all gone.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

hunting for morals in the knucklehead disparity

Today, after some scenic paddling on a stretch of the Kansas River above Edwardsville, I went morel hunting. My name for morel hunting, is moral hunting, because you almost never find morels but you almost always find a nice walk in the woods on a spring day, and the woods on a spring day can be a nice place to reexamine your morals. Of course there are many other locales where one could do this sort of thing, including your bathtub, or while cooking dinner, but I've always had a fondness for the spring-time morel-hunting walk for moral contemplation.

Now Kansas has some wacky right-of-way laws and since I wanted to paddle on the Kaw (read Kansas) River rather than the more likely morel-friendly MO River, I first did some google mapping to see if I could catch 2 birds (actually saw more than 2, of note: blue-winged teal) with one paddle. Low and behold, the google map analysis showed that at approximately 5 miles upstream from my put-in point there appeared to be a long stretch of land that lay between the railroad and the river and this stretch appeared wooded. Being stranded between the railroad right-of-way and the river I surmised that this land would have to be public from the edge of the railroad right-of-way to river's edge. I am not an expert in Kansas rights law, but when morels are involved chances sometimes have to be taken. Additionally, there appeared to be a dead-end road that went right to the edge of this property so it appeared that if I didn't make it to that area via the river, then I could drive to it and check it out.

So I had the nice paddle, a very nice paddle, and then with still plenty of sunlight, some previous days rain, and a warming trend, I thought this perfect morel weather can't be lost. So off Trex and I go to find morels.
I dream that someday Trex will actually be able to find morels but first we have to find them before I can train them in the art of smelling them out. Anyway, long story short, we found no morels. But we did find morals. Or dare I say, the lack of them.
Along this Burlington Northern Sante Fe R.R. (BNSF) right-of-way I first began to notice that telephone poles had been cut down along the edge of an unimproved access road that ran parallel to the tracks. The poles had been cut flush with the ground and on the other side of the tracks, there appeared to be a new underground fiber optice cable (Quest Communications). So the old way of doing things had been replaced with a new one. No problem there. However, as I began to walk along the high cut bank, occassionally I would peer over the edge and out onto the Kaw River. This is the last really scenic stretch of the river before it begins to open up on the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. And I began to see telephone poles down along the embankment. At first I thought nothing of it, but then I began to see more and more of them. And then I came across an area where the line of trees had been bull-dozed to make room for makeshift road and then I began to see that what they'd done was make a road so that they could go to the edge of the river and push their old telephone poles off so that they'd be carried off by the next high water event. Ingenious don't you think? Illegal also. I pretty sure of that. There it was, staring me in the face again, the knucklehead disparity.
What is the knucklehead disparity? It's the growing gap between the informed (but less inclined to pro-creation) environmentals and the knuckleheads, who don't practice good stewardship (and practice birth control to a lesser extent than the environmentalists).
You can see evidence of the knucklehead disparity in many places. More hybrid cars on the road right? Must be a good sign. Well, sales of huge trucks, SUVs, and gas-guzzlers still outpace those of the fuel-efficient hybrids. Green development on a small footprint. Nice idea. Now go check out what's really happening. More and more and more mindless, unsustainable development. Local, organic food. Another great idea and growing all the time, most every store now has an organic section and farmer's market get more and more plentiful. Then why do so many people shop at Costco and Walmart? Again, it's the knucklehead disparity at play. And the solution is so simple my friends.

charlie don't surf

Spring. It's been almost 3 weeks since then vernal equinox. The weather of late has been more reminiscent of winter and if it weren't for the daily box scores we might never know it's truly spring. But it's back, or appears to be, for the coming week so get out and enjoy it. Taxes done, finally, hey the deadline isn't until till tomorrow, so I'm a day early. Thanks for the residential energy and federal telephone excise credits is all I have to say.

Did you know that federal telephone excise tax was first enacted to pay for the Spanish-American War? Don't remember that one? 1898. Back when phones were considered a luxury and the US had no income tax, this tax was devised as a method to pay for the war. Been used to pay for wars ever since. Johnson raised it to 10 percent during the Vietnam War. Surprisingly enough the last batch of Republicans in power (surely the most war-mongering bunch to ever hold elective office) introduced legislation to remove it but it never passed. Instead a series of lawsuits eventually caused Sam to cry "Uncle" and it's no more.

The Telephone Excise Tax Refund is a one-time tax credit that you can claim on your 2006 tax return. It represents a refund of excise taxes paid on long-distance telephone service. You can claim a standard refund of the telephone excise tax. The standard amounts are based on the number of personal exemptions you claim on your tax return.
1 exemption: $30
2 exemptions: $40
3 exemptions: $50
4 exemptions or more: $60
You can also use the simplified method to calculate the actual tax paid. This value may be higher. However, only the IRS would consider a 4-step process that includes the use of your April and September 2006 phone bills (you still have those around right!?!) a simplified method.

Do you realize that we are currently spending about 51% of the federal taxes that you pay on the military. Aren't you proud to be an American when you hear this? Making the world safe and all while we destroy it? Hey, if we can't make free-market capitalists out of 'em, why not kill em all?

Ok, full-disclosure. The 51% figure is in dispute. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) claims it's only 21%. Other groups claim much higher percentages depending upon how the figures are calculated and what's included. However, the 21% OMB number is likely to be Enron-like accounting designed to make you feel good about spending your taxes on a whole bunch of shit that isn't improving the lot of anyone on this planet - unless you're an arms dealer or an asshole. Besides, take OMB's numbers and it's still a whole lot of death, destruction, and misery. So America. Pay your taxes and open a can of whup-ass.

Friday, April 13, 2007

more about moi

More about moi.

From the series "Self-portraits with maps and bicycle parts"

Dimensions vary slighty, this piece (16 in. by 18 in. x 2 in.)
Each portrait represents approximately a 1o-year span of moi life. This is 2 of 4.
collection of Warrior Ant Press.

m.o.i.: more about moi
see also:
m.o.i.: anthill diggs downtown
m.o.i.: intellectual property
m.o.i.: my new collection

Thursday, April 12, 2007

all about moi

People have been asking, "who is that masked person behind the curtain?" So, I'm prepared to tell you about a little about moi through the avenue of the self-portrait over the coming weeks. The self-portrait serves the artist in many ways. Foremost, it is the ultimate act of self-promotion. Look at moi! Hear me roar! Second, it provides the lonely artist with a ready study. No need to foray into the world for material, I'll just examine myself. How fascinating; don't you agree? So gentle readers of the self-absorbed here's a little of moi.

Badge, 1996 (collection of Warrior Ant Press). Worn to official functions when in costume, i.e. Williams Burrough's art opening, The Mayor's Chirstmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Although the certitude of this badge was ultimately questioned by local law enforcement officials, moi was keep from the hoosegaw by strict adherence to the admonishment, ''no, in fact, this is not public property, and you may not stand here on the plaza taking pictures of who you please. You can stand over there on the sidewalk!"

"Yes, thank you Mr. Police Officer for pointing that out. I really appreciate it." Respect your elders; it pays. Or if you don't respect them, then at least know when to suck up to them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

'nuddin personal, jus bidness

Ok, you free-market, conservative apologists, maybe you'll understand this. Again, it's not controversial; it's a matter of economics. You mess with the bottom line of corporate America and they mess with you. "'Nuddin' personal, understand? Jus bidness." Yeah, boss man, we understand you.

Amercian Express, General Motors, Staples, and Proctor and Gamble (dominions of equality and fairness that they are!) have pulled advertising from MSNBC in response to Imus' comments. These are annual ad revenues in the 3-5 million range for MSNBC. So what does MSNBC do. Hey, just bidness. They drop Imus like a letch.

Isn't that how you image the market is supposed to work?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

this issue isn't controversial

Ok, some of you may be aware of this issue, some may not. This is the issue of controversy. Everything in society has to be controversial. Blogs. the news. radio. We believe that no one will listen, or hear you, unless you're controversial. The more controversial, the more outrageous, the better. "Stay tuned at ten and we'll tell you something that will make your blood boil!"

Perhaps everything shouldn't be controversial. The topic I'd like to address isn't controversial. It's as clear as day. It should be to you, but it apparently isn't to everyone yet.
I'm talking about Don Imus' and the producers of his show comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. I won't repeat them here, you can find them easily if you wish. Mr. Imus' public apology is laudable. You can also find that online if you choose. Mr. Imus has also been suspended for 2 weeks. Also laudable. The question I ask you is, ''is this enough?"

However, if you really want to understand the issue then check out a recent press conference and listen to the women on the Rutger's basketball team and their coach first hand. These are people at the center of this - not Mr. Imus and his producer, not Rev. Sharpton, not Rev. Jackson. They are but a part of it but they are not the center of this issue. Listen to these women. This is the problem, we have not been listening; we are yelling at each other and we are falling apart in the process.

There can always be good things come from bad. Perhaps this event can actually spearhead a hopeful dialogue in this country whereby we (everyone) no longer tolerates the kind of ridiculous, hurtful critiques that Mr. Imus and so many like him preach daily on our airwaves. There is no appropriate reaction other than, ''we will no longer tolerate this!" None. It's more than turning off these folks, we have to stand up and say, ''no more, no more, no more."

I must confess as to listening only a few times to Mr. Imus. His claim, that his show is comedy, like the claims of Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Savage, and Mr. O'Reilly, that their shows are entertainment, resound false to me. They are not funny and they are not entertaining. The larger issue here is the pervasive misogyny and racism that still pervades our culture. It's not good, it must stop if we're to move forward.

Everyone makes mistakes, no one is perfect, but perhaps this mistake will help us in the long term. If we say no more.

Scratch and sniff t-shirt

Apparently I've been things all wrong. Flowers. Poems. Letters. Meals served by candlelight on the front porch. This is not how you attract a mate. Not according to the most recent research and everyone knows to put their trust in the latest scientific research - no matter what you may have heard in church this past Sunday.

It's the smelly t-shirt that counts! Lord, knows there's no shortage of them in moi's abode. So here you are! One of moi favs. Has the bouquet of the peleton mixed with undertones of blackberry, rosemary, and sage. Come and get moi!

Monday, April 9, 2007

cute puppy portraits!

This is my favorite portrait of a cute puppy. It's by Johnny Naugahyde, 2007, hand-tooled leather, collection of m.o.i.


The minimalist, conceptual, constructivist, Sol Lewitt has passed. Although best known for his cubist constructions, his work was also influenced by color field theory although he frequently took this approach one step farther by painting directly on the musuem walls, thus forcing the patrons to experience without having an opportunity to purchase the work. Socialist! Here's an image of his double-negative constructed at Europas Parkas. The next time you're in Vilnius, paying homage to Frank Zappa, seeing the warehouse tomb of Lenin statues, or visiting the KGB musuem, take the short drive (or the bus) out to this open-air sculpture park. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Climb every mountain, follow every star

Detroit lost it's groove when Motown sold out to MCA. No wonder they make crappy cars. Forget about it. Buy this instead. LeMonde Alpe d'Huez.

I guess the engineers are too busy building levees.

Ok, m.o.i. hates to be a conspiracy theorist but somethings desparately wrong. At the NY Auto Show, America's oldest and supposedly PREMIER auto show for the latest and greatest in car technology there was, count'em, ONE all-electric car on display. You heard me, ONE car. A 1912 Standard Electric; +100 miles on one charge. That's almost 100 years ago! What the f--- is going on? What happened to engineering in this country?

sacrifices must be made

Yesterday, on Sonic Spectrum, one of my favorite radio shows, I heard an interview with Charlie Louvin of the Louvin Brothers, arguably one of the most influencial country bands you never heard of. The Louvin Brothers, developers of the close harmony sound, came from hard-scrabble Kentucky. One day when they were young and out hoein' in the field, they saw Roy Acuff drive by on his way to a concert in town. Roy was in the the biggest car they'd ever seen, a Franklin, with 3 doors on a side. Each was convinced that the Grand Ole Opry was a ticket to riches, although in truth Mr. Acuff only charged adults 25 cents and children a nickel to see him. Even a sold-out show would barely net $100. It took the Louvin 16 years of touring before they ever played the Grand Ole Opry, where eventually they became a staple and inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Charlie Louvin also recounted a story about Chet Atkins, a guitarist so fluid, so adept that he could play and carry on a conversation at the same time with missing a beat. His skills so honed that the fingers seem to be disconnected from his brain. An enthusiastic fan came up to Chet and exclaimed, "Mr. Atkins, I'd give a million dollars if I could play like you!" "Yeah, but would you give 65 years?" Chet replied. The fan slunked away.

"There's a price to pay to be good at anything," Charlie said.

Hell, there's a price to pay even if your just mediocre at something. However, regardless of what plans your Father might have for you, if it winds up killing you, you might want to reconsider.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

my new collection

People collect all sorts of things. Stamps. Coins. Art. Lovers. You name it, someone collects it. You collect it; Antiques Roadshow tells you what it's worth. Forget the sentiment; there's real money involved if you get it right.

But what's an Albert Pujols rookie card worth when your neighbor's eight year-old is already sittin' on 5 pristine signed ones? It's worth whatever you're willing to pay, or willing to sell if for. Hell, they're just baseball cards. Who gives a shit.

When I was younger, I traded my entire baseball card collection, full of Mickey Mantles, Warren Spahns, Stan-the-Man's, rookie Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Ernie Banks, Don Drysdale's, shit-loads of past and future hall-of-famers in one fell swoop to my best friend. Half of them I'd won in betting games from him. These were the good ones, the ones that didn't end up in the bike spokes. I traded it for a box of marbles. Why, I wanted the marbles more than I wanted the cards and today I still think of it as a good trade. Who knows what happened to the cards, who cares?

In this age of obscurity, this ceaseless march to oblivion, we look to be unique with our collections. That's why I started a one that few, if any can match. Guns I've found in the river. I'm 2 and counting. Last week someone else beat me to the punch or it'd now be three. Right now I focusing on handguns, but soon I hope to branch off into Kalisnikovas.

m.o.i.: my new collection
see also:
m.o.i.: intellectual property
m.o.i.: more about moi

omega-3-fatty-acid binge

Are you as excited as I am that Voortman is now making flaxseed with omega 3 fatty acid cookies? Yes, Voortman Cookies of the bing-supporting two-for-$3 family pack ("The difference between the Voortman Cookies sugar wafer and all others is the cream — and we use lots of it.") has turned health conscious on us.

There's a new Voortman style with 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of cholesterol. So put down that Bacardi and Diet Coke, cinch your belt a notch, and try a pack. They taste like dog biscuits, but with half the calories.

jesus lives

One of my cushy Memphisto (yes, Memphisto of the $300 shoes so you can imagine the quality) socks which had been missing-in-action for some weeks now, just tumbled out of the corner of a fitted sheet during some spring cleaning. Even at my age, I still suffer from static cling. So now, one of my favorite pairs of socks has been ressurrected and will live again.
Praise Allah!
m.o.i.: jesus lives
m.o.i.:yankees on hgh
m.o.i.: infidels versus christians

cretaceous puppy

Trex as a pup.

dinosaur among pampered breeds

This is Trex (rhymes with tricks), short for T-Rex. Born on M.L. King Day, 2003, Trex is a 4-yr old Rare West Tibetan Mountain Dog. Like the more common Eastern Tibetan Mountain Dog, they are a tribe of Chow. The breed is distinguished by its wheaten color, gentle tail curl, and lack of black tongue. Working dogs with incredible stamina, strength, and spunk they are said to have originated among Yangtze River clans where they served as guards on fishing boats until political turmoil in China forced many to flee into the mountainous regions of Tibet. The remaining population of Rare West Tibetan Mountain Dogs is believed to be less than 500 worldwide.

Trex, an intrepid dog-paddler, has served as helmsman on Big River canoe trips down the Muddy MO and the Mighty Mississip. Trex currently holds the record dog-paddling time in the world's longest canoe/kayak race (MR340) which takes place each year between KC and StL.

Trex, who's a bit of a prankster, one responsed to this query from a stranger, ''well hello puppy, what sort of dog are you?" by growling, "GRRRiver GRRog!"

Friday, April 6, 2007

tear me apart

Ok so it's first Friday here in KC which means art gallery openings. My friend Susan had some pyrographs (burned drawings) that were interesting, even beautiful. There was a small discussion about how to make larger tips for larger drawings and Bryan, who had spent some time on the farm suggested an electric branding iron. I mentioned that our government (via some Homeland Security $$$'s) had developed it's own version of electric prods for use in torturing terrorists (this means you), although they have yet to be released to the general population.

Then off to another new gallery (unit 5 [how's that for a macho name]) where I encountered an interesting phenomenon. An artist team had printed a limited edition art book. This was fine. What was disconcerning to me was that they chose to mount and frame each page of the book separately. Because of the way books need to be constructed for readibility, this meant that the viewer was confronted with images and text that weren't spatially related to one another - except for being in the same book. It just seemed so sad to see a book displayed that way, especially by the authors. Hey, it's not my work, they can show it how they want, but I can see book plates torn from folios any day at the flea market I don't need to see them at a fine art gallery.

Speaking of being torn apart. There are still those who crucify themselves to cleanse themselves (us?) of sin. Apparently they do this every year and the main precaution they take is to sterilize the nails; seens like they might have more pressing concerns than bacteria on the nails. Don't know, seems easier to just take a bath and besides I thought Christ died for our sins, so what's up with the half-way re-enactment? Feel a bit cheated. Either do it up right, including the resurrection part, or just read the Good Book. While I wouldn't suggest this (the crucify part) to a friend, neighbor, or sane person, I heartily recommend it to many past and current members of this administration. Can Pat Roberson leg press a crucifix with Carl Rove lashed to it? Only God knows.

the funkster

Kansas City will soon have a new mayor. Mayor-elect Funkhouser, aka the Funkster, Lurch, the big lug (as his wife calls him). Hasn't even taken office yet and already he's made his first rookie mistake. The Funkster, who m.o.i. heartily supported in the campaign, tapped his close friend and confidante Ed Wolf to be his chief of staff. Problem. Mr. Wolf, who retired from Director of Public Works for the City 4 years ago ran straight away into one of KC archaic laws. Seems that you have to be retired for at least 5 years before working again for the city. Oops! It's ok to retire and be hired as a consultant. Many former employee immediately jump on the consultant gravy train within months of retirement, but to enter again into public service with the city, this will require a change in the city charter. Time for compromise as Mayor-elect Funkhouser insists that Ed is the man for the job. Wonder what the current mayor, and departing council (5 of whom got soundly trounced by the Funky grassroots campaign) will demand in return for this change to the charter. More tax breaks for the wealthy? Ah, the art of sucking up errr politics. Here's a photo of the neophyte taking a call during his election night acceptance speech flanked by his son and wife. I love the honesty of this guy.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

In memory of Mr. Fish

Here's a poem in memory of Mr. Fish for those who might be paddling about
this weekend and thinking about spring, life, and what's important. I think it's a beautiful poem, a bit sad, but with a hint of hope and artful reminiscence.
Mr. Fish and a friend were both paddling without pfd's, on a windy day, on a rising river in a recreational kayak on the Kaw River near Eudora, Kansas. The water temperature was around 2 degrees Celsius. Both boats upended almost simultaneously. Witnesses on shore saw this, called 911 and a rescue was attempted. The friend survived. Mr. Fish's body wasn't recovered for several weeks. Mr. Fish, his real name, left behind a wife and 4 children.

The poem is by Billy Collins, former Poet Laureate of the US and published in The Art of Drowning, Pittsburg University Press, 1995

The Art of Drowning

I wonder how it all got started, this business
about seeing your life flash before your eyes
while you drown, as if panic, or the act of submergence,
could startle time into such compression, crushing
decades in the vice of your desperate, final seconds.

After falling off a steamship or being swept away
in a rush of floodwater, wouldn't you hope
for a more leisurely review, an invisible hand
turning the pages of an album of photographs -
you up on a pony or blowing out candles in a comic hat.

How about a short animated film, a slide presentation?
Your life expressed in an essay, or in one model paragraph?
Wouldn't any form be better than this sudden flash?
Your whole existence going off in your face
in an eyebrow-singeing explosion of biography--
nothing like the three large volumes you imagined.

Survivors would have us believe in a brilliance
here, some bolt of truth forking across the water,
an ultimate Light before all the lights go out,
dawning on you with all its megalithic tonnage.
But if something does flash before your eyes
as you go under, it will probably be a fish.

a quick blur of curved silver darting away,
having nothing to do with your life or your death.
The tide will take you, or the lake will accept it all
as you sink toward the weedy disarray of the bottom,
leaving behind what you have already forgotten.
the surface, now overrun with the high travel of clouds.

see also:
m.o.i.: raft ice on the mo