Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Girl And Her Dog. Er, More Of A Dogfish, Really

I need to get one of those chain mail suits to change our housecat's flea collar.

(Thanks to reader Sean Tompkins for sending that one along)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Death Valley - Old Skool

Unlike any such thing made nowadays, it's heavy on info and light on preachiness.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Room With A View

That's the view out my kitchen window, taken about a week ago. God's fixated on the violets again.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tip From An Old Pro: If You're Going To Have A Camera Pointed At You, Learn The Words

Jolly version of one of the jolliest songs ever written:

The Rock and Worship Roadshow 2011

In The Beginning, God Created The Heavens And The Earth; The Least We Can Do Is Point A Camera At It

I've been featuring a series of snowboarding videos over at the Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys, featuring an extremely calm wildman named Xavier de le Rue. One of his videographers, Guido Perrini, decided to simply point his camera at his surroundings, let it roll, and go out for a beer. This is the result.

I don't think the average blogger understands the power of simply pointing a camera and your attention at your immediate surroundings. Most would rather be the 4,167th person to weigh in on a procedural vote in the Senate. If your surroundings are boring it's not a clue that the procedural vote is the way to go; it's a hint that maybe you ought to move somewhere interesting.

And in my experience, pretty much everywhere is interesting, except maybe the Senate.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Did Bugs Bunny Wreck This, Or Fix It? You Decide

Felix Mendelssohn's Spring Song

Man I need some Spring. It's a long road that has no turning.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jupiter And Mars

That kid he bombs around the lot in my Caddie and I've got my heart in my throat just tossing him the keys but he never misses so what the hell. He's dressed like he's waiting for an organ grinder, not me, but the missus think's he's some kinda handsome and what's the harm in that. Young man should be handsome and see some hubba hubba wife now and then so he knows why he's groping that neighborhood girl in the back of a jalopy for.

Jesus she steps out like a queen. The monkey missing his tin cup holds the door and she puts out one leg with the seam running up the back and he's transfixed like he's a gimp at Lourdes and she's coming down from a cloud. She's got a halo of perfume and radiation from the silk and glitters a bit on the fingers. We go in and the Caddie gets a workout.

There's the maitre d and he knows me and there's no fuss except the fussing over a guy likes. The wife inspects the ceiling and Rocco says his little prayer of a tip and massages me a bit. He inspects the long memorized seating plan like it's a lost scroll instead of his reason for being. "I might just have something near the floor 'cause I know missus, well, she can dance is what I'm sayin'."

The coat check girl is the homely one, and even she could start a knifefight on any corner in Naples just by walking past. The girl who takes you to the table could get the Pope to reconsider.

There's too many onions but they're sweet. The wood pressed into a little quilt reveals itself as you make your way to the bottom of the bowl. Bread in a basket, O and V in the cruets, two ashtrays. Chianti, Franco; ten bucks and it's the best Chianti in the world, with the cock right there on the stripe like back home. The stuffy guys, the dentists with Yankee names come in here and order sangiovese for their stringy wives to ooh and aah over and pay twenty 'cause they don't know no better.

The dentist Yankees drift by on the dance floor and you can see them eying the real woman you got, pushing the limits of her dress every which place -- Bam! Boop! Bap! -- and he's got the skinny sorority girl who moves around like a giraffe in a straightjacket and you know right off that she moves like that everywhere. That's why he can't stop robbing a peek at the missus when he can; they always sneak out of the house in their mind in here, the white bread. They couldn't handle a woman like I got anyway. They should stick to the ingenues who reach for the diazepam instead of the kitchen knives when you piss her off.

In other words, please be true. In other words, I love you.

(Reader and commenter Misterarthur sent me that video, for the Hammond. Guys from Detroit know Hammond)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RIP Pinetop Perkins

[Blues piano player Pinetop Perkins passed away on Monday. He was 97 years old. He was an interesting and pleasant man. I once played in a band with him way back when, when he was really young -- you know, in his mid seventies. He was still playing right up to the day he died, and is the oldest person ever to win a Grammy. I wrote a little something back in 2007 about him, and it had a good performance by him playing the piano with Muddy Waters back in 1976, when he was at the top of his game:]

I used to be a musician.

I still play occasionally, but only if you really make me. I never paid much attention to learning to play properly. My older brother is a very fine musician and taught me how to play the electric bass in the late 1970s. I bought an axe and amp, had a lesson, and got a job working in The Met Cafe in Providence a week or so later.

Playing the bass is like owning the baseball. You'll play all you want to if you can manage to show up and mind your business. I did.

The music business was filled with guys like me. They worked with their hands all day in construction, and played music at night. But I was the exact opposite of them, too. I played music for money and built things for the love of it.

I've had a few book's worth of odd and interesting things happen to me while I was playing. I could never remember all the places I've played in, and I can't even remember all the bands I've been in. For a while, I'd play with a different set of people four or five nights a week. I don't miss it all that much, really.

I got to wondering how many people I could recall that I played with that would turn up on YouTube. I was tickled to find two in one video. Pinetop Perkins and Luther Guitar Junior Johnson. They're both playing with the magnificent Muddy Waters:

Pinetop seemed ancient to me back then, twenty years ago and more, and he's still alive today and performing at 94 years old. We played in the Civic View Inn in Providence. The dressing room for the bands was upstairs, and it was... how do I put this delicately... um, well, they had shag carpeting on all the walls and the floor and ceiling too. There was a TV bolted to the wall up in the corner; the movies they were playing on there continuously would make an animal husbandry specialist blush. I avoided the doorknob, and there was no power on earth that could compel me to enter the bathroom under any circumstances. Pinetop was bored, so we went down to the bar. I thought it was funny that Pinetop called Johnny Walker Red, his favorite, "high test," just like my uncle does. I bought him a great deal of it. He was almost fifty years older than me, but we had more in common than I had with people I considered my friends. He wore a huge cowboy hat, was skinny as a rail, told a million stories. We had a blast. Some guys in his band didn't show, so we opened for him and played with him too. All he needed was a piano, really.

I can't remember where the Luther Johnson gig was. That's him playing the guitar over in the right hand side of the frame. He was one of those guys -- lively, talented, good enough to make a living at it, never making a lot of money. I remember giving him a ride back to his house. He lived in a tidy little suburb south of Boston somewhere, and was anxious to get back home to his family. Now that's my kind of guy. I always am too.

Winter Is What You Make Of It; Rumford Version

Sometimes I feel like Lawrence of Arabia here in western Maine.

"What is it, exactly, Major Lawrence, that attracts you, personally, to the desert?"
"It's clean."
"Now, that's a very illuminating answer."

And so it is with me. There was four or five inches of fresh snow overnight -- frosting for the first day of spring cake --which at least covered all the grime that accumulates in the snowbanks as they decay. We are cold a lot. We get dirty sometimes. My little son can make handprints in the rime on the inside of the windows in the morning. There is a belching, hulking industrial building the size of Oz squatting over the river a mile or two from here.

But it's clean.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great Moments In Yacht Rock: 1974

I was, er, tempted to mention Paul Carrack's singing, but I decided to take my Chevy van for a spin instead. You know, the one with the: Ass, Gas, or Grass -- Nobody Rides For Free front license plate.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Winter Is What You Make Of It

Cute little tilt-shift video of Whistler Blackcomb ski area in British Columbia. Advertising and marketing that people will look at voluntarily for the charm that's in it. That's the way to do it. Everyone likes snow they don't have to shovel.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Richness Of Meagre Company

Click for a really big shue.

Franz Hals painted this one. Well, he started painting it. Had a "helper" who painted a lot of it, with enough juice to get mentioned, too; Pieter Codde. Maybe Hals was too tired from naming it to finish it. It's original name is: Officers of the Company of the Amsterdam Crossbow Civic Guard Under Captain Reynier Reael and Lieutenant Cornelis Michielsz. An art critic decided that the men pictured were so slender and his ink was so precious that he'd call them the Meagre Company instead, and the nickname has stuck.

It's hanging around the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. They know a little something about painting in those parts.

Hals was hired because he had a rep for interesting poses for large groups, but he got tired of commuting to Amsterdam from Haarlem, and when the Civic Guard told him to paint faster or he wouldn't get paid, Hals told them that if the postman doesn't come, it's from me. The skinny soldiers hired Codde to finish it for them. People familiar with the two artists can easily tell who did what from looking at the painting. Hals was less fussy and more powerful. I always find that interesting.

I love the black in it. Only Spaniards and Hopper could use black all over the place better.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Marketing, Advertising, and Sales 101

What is Advertising?

It's often confused with Marketing. And Sales. And Sales and Marketing. Community Outreach? Sure, toss that in there with all the other euphemisms, too.

Marketing is renting a lodge where the animals are. Advertising is hunting. Sales is bullets.I hate to break it to you, but you're the deer, dear.

Marketing people have the least to do with the public, at least personally, so any essential creepiness on their part is hidden. They talk about customers like bacilli in a pyrex dish, but no one hears it until it's passed along to others and gussied up and covered with shiny glass balls and garlands. That's why cable networks don't make episodic dramas about callow and cutthroat marketing departments with buxom secretaries.

People in advertising can seem rather two-faced. Janussarries, if I can coin a word. Advertisers are paid to fall in love with a product. Like all callow lovers, they are prodigious haters, too. They are tasked with making others love and hate things in turn, but the money has to convince them first. The most effective advertising sometimes sounds like love, or sounds like something unexceptional, but is seething with studied disregard for competitors. Don't be evil is not a promise to nice. It's a vicious, unsubstantiated accusation against your competitors, made by stealth. It's almost worthy of a politician.

Salesmen are the butchers. Close the deal. They are paid to get stuff on their aprons, the stuff the supposedly vicious admen and rapacious businessmen can't seem to stomach. Good salesmen make the customer feel as though the salesmen is simply helping the customer get what they want. It may even be true. But generally salesmen would push your face into the paper and mash a pen in your hand and move your arm over the contract by jerking your elbow around, if they could. They don't come on the lot, 'lessen they wants to buy...

It's not personal (Sonny); it's just business.And salesmen aren't even always wrong in this regard. Sometimes a potential customer drives themselves to distraction worrying endlessly about signing on the line that is dotted. Ending the process gracefully is a blessing all around in many cases.

I run a very rare operation nowadays. I am a vertically integrated business. I thought up the concept, and I designed the products, and I make the product, and made the place the product is made, and I identify the potential customers, and talk to them, and sell to them, and send things to them, and I wonder forevermore afterwards about whether every single one of them is still happy with me. It's easy for me to love the thing I'm selling, and I deserve less or more credit for delivering the whole megillah depending on your worldview. If I was more disconnected from the disparate steps in my operations, others could be paid to do them, and more customers could be served. Some persons like small, and reward me for my efforts. Some give credit to bigger organizations that don't lose their soul by inches in expanding out instead of up. Me, I'd just like to eat more often and sleep more soundly.

I've become attuned to the machinations of selling things to people. I see the wires behind the animatronics a lot. We live in a world where Bill Gates is considered by many to be an evil mofo, but the ShamWow guy is lovable, at least between bouts of biting a hooker on the face, and being bitten.That is not a naturally occurring phenomenon.

To put yourself in Michelangelo's shoes, he told the Pope that once the money was settled, he'd find a way to fall in love with the Pope's thankless Sistine ceiling painting job. The Pope just wanted to get his message out. He hired the best ad man he could find. We're all the better for it. And I'm sure the Catholic salesmen ultimately had an easier time closing the deal under that ceiling. Advertising and marketing and sales doesn't have to make your flesh crawl. And many of the greatest artists I know of produced advertising for others. Picasso was one, lifelong advertiser for himself, but made is seem as if he didn't have a bit of self-promotion going on. I preferred Suess just taking the money and making Flit ads. There's more charm in it, and less deception.

So everyone has to warm to their task along the way to sell a product or service, and everyone uses dollar bills for the fire they warm their hands over. But you can tell when it's not just the money talking; when a manifest affection develops for the object of the attention of talented people.

Watch the video. Whoever made it -- and conceptualized it in the first place --  learned to love it; and maybe you might to, they importune without seeming to, if you've got a moment.

How else do you explain telling potential customers how much fun they'll have with their boogers frozen in their beard?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

RIP Joe Morello

Joe Morello, drummer for the Dave Brubeck Quartet back in the day, passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Thanks for putting up with all the odd time signatures, Joe.

He was a Springfield, Massachusetts native, along with Dr. Suess, Creighton Abrams, Donald Naismith, Milton Bradley, Kurt Russell, Timothy Leary, Taj Mahal, Eddie Shore, John Brown, Billy Curtis the Munchkin, and a pretty girl I know.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Philistine Says:

Bach always sounds like crap to me, and on any kinda keyboard. Sounds delightful on a one-handled wooden note bucket, though. And yes, I am a philistine, but I know this is written for the violin, not the pianny.

Pretty girl, too. Tatyana Ryzhkova 

I'm wearing clothes older than Tatyana. Time marches on, I guess.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Things I Have In Common With Warren Buffett -- Exhibit A

We've both been interviewed by Furniture Today. Buffett owns a furniture store, too. Sorry, Warren; they wanted my opinion five years ago.

Poor Warren. Wandering the earth for all those years, burdened with all that money, and it took him decades to work up the nerve to finally admit to himself that no man can be happy without his own furniture business.

Anyway, I have two terrible, dark secrets to reveal. You guys won't tell anyone, will you? I sorta not-quite knew Eliot and Barry Tatelman, the brothers that inherited the business Buffett bought from them. Twenty-five years ago they were going through some sort of midlife crisis and were taking drum lessons from a friend of mine in Hopkinton, Mass. I was young and trying to make half my living playing music at the time. I was playing bass with anyone that had paying gigs. If you play the bass and sing a little, you can always work. There was an open mike night at Liam's Irish Tavern in Framingham on Mondays, and I never could find work on Monday nights anyway, and the dissolute and mildly skeevy fellow that ran it needed a "house band" to play with all the flotsam and jetsam that came in. I'd been playing weddings in Connecticut with him for some reason or other, and he asked me to do it. For no money, just free drinks. I told him I knew the bartender and got free drinks already. He said all the other guys did it for free. I said to have fun with all the other guys. I knew he was getting paid.

We hit on a solution. He desperately needed someone to bring a drum set. If he allowed an amateur to bring a drum set, he'd have to let him play all night, and anyone that would haul an entire trap set up those stairs for no money would surely be awful and make for a long night for everybody else. So a friend who played drums gave me the remains of an old cheap red sparkle drum set he hadn't used since the British Invasion, and I hauled it into Liam's on Mondays, and later I bought a real drum set at Jack's across from Berklee, and took a few drum lessons from that fellow I told you about that mostly took care of horses but taught drums on the side. 

I've been haunted by the specter of these two unholy secrets my whole life. I must come clean.

A. I'm sorry fellows, but Jay lied when he told you no one was getting paid; he paid me fifty bucks to bring those drums and play maybe two or three songs on them and then drink for free and play darts all night, and I'm not even a drummer. But I couldn't tell anyone I was getting paid. I was just like Arianna Huffington, only I don't think she even owns drums.

B. Hey, Eliot and Barry: that guy was charging you triple what he charged me.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Business 101: Don't Forget The One

Welcome to Bootsy Business School, a wholly owned subsidiary of Famous Flames Academy. Professors John Starks and Bootsy recall Dean James Brown's Unique Selling Proposition.

I've heard a hearty handful of terms in marketing literature for Unique Selling Proposition -- why a product is unique and the benefits that will accrue to the user if they buy it. The terms are all pretty much the same, and you can trace them back past marketing to the term raison d'etre. Don't forget your reason for being. If you can't explain your reason for being, you're not going to attract others to your vision -- you don't have one.

It's very difficult to figure out your reason for being in the first place. Most businessmen never do. It's the reason most businesses fail. Most people first look outside themselves for input. They get cacophony. Everyone is an idea person when they're not in charge, or when they're in charge but don't suffer for their mistakes.Guys like James Brown attracted the best and brightest, and every one probably thought they were more talented and smarter than JB. They bristled under his ironhanded direction quite a bit. Look at what Bootsy became after he left Brown's band. His talent didn't diminish. It was diffused and diluted and became inchoate. He was lots of fun, and he made a living, but he never once had that one defiining thing that made him important. He substituted funny glasses and a wild getup for more substantial things. Maybe the circus pays better than being a sideman; I dunno.

The real trick to "The One," that one big idea that carried James Brown, is that it's all about serving the audience -- the consumer. I'll bet he had to tell his sidemen over and over to put a sock in it and get back to his one big idea. The person in charge has to be the champion of the consumer, not for the employees. The manager has to treat his employees well, in treasure or self-actualization, but he is not on their team. People who work in an organization tend to forget there's anyone outside the building, or in tertiary stages of the disease, outside their own cubicle. The customers are an annoyance, their directors are nazis. If only everyone would allow them to amuse themselves, the world would be a better place. 

The world doesn't work that way. Look at the people foaming at the mouth in Wisconsin, demanding that their managers ignore the customers and take their side against those customers. They can't even remember who their customers are, never mind how they're supposed to serve them. They have made the mistake common to people working in large organizations: The employees think they are the customers, and demand all sorts of things like a fussy purchaser might. They compound their mistake by thinking that the product is them, too, and point out that the product will be very bad indeed if they decide to throw their sabot into the gears because their managers won't let them do whatever they feel like. On the other side of the coin, I doubt the new regime thinks they are reforming the school system, really; I imagine they figure that the product is so bad and the process for producing it is so byzantine that it might as well cost less, because gobs of money had no discernible salutary effect on it.

If management and labor collude against the customer, they better have a monopoly. But monopolies are by definition inflexible, so even a monopoly can't last forever, and fails spectacularly when it does go.(Hello Blockbuster!) In a flurry of recrimination and chanting, sometimes; in soaped-over windows in an empty strip mall in the dreaded private sector.

Get your own "The One," and once you find it, beat that drum, brothers and sisters. It's a funky good time to be successful. At least I think it would be. How would I know?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

2001, Fixed

Stanley Kubrick; the most overrated movie director until Tarantino came along. Of course there was an interlude between the two when George Lucas was writing dialog for Cigar Store Indians to recite like they were reading a phone book. But has anyone pissed away more money producing pointless screen time aimed at advancing a storyline nowhere using worse actors than Kubrick? I don't think so. No one in his industry can match him; only politicians have done less with more.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hey, It's Maddrey Grass!

Well, that's how Bugs Bunny taught me to pronounce it, anyway. Happy Fat Tuesday! Let's hit it in the El Rayo-X style:

What the fuss is all about:

Riding on the City of New Orleans,
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.

All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin' trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

Good morning America how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car.
Penny a point ain't no one keepin' score.
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
Feel the wheels rumblin' 'neath the floor.
And the sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel.
Mothers with their babes asleep,
Are rockin' to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.
Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
Half way home, we'll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness Rolling down to the sea.

And all the towns and people seem To fade into a bad dream
And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.
The conductor sings his song again,
The passengers will please refrain
This train's got the disappearing railroad blues.

Good night, America, how are you?
Don't you know me I'm your native son,
I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

lyrics: The City of New Orleans by Steve Goodman ©1970, 1971 EMI U Catalogue, Inc and Turnpike Tom Music (ASCAP)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Ballad Of A Thin Man

You have many contacts
Among the lumberjacks...

We went this week and sat in the audience. He's only fifteen years old.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Make Sure You Take Your Ritalin And Call The Vinyl Siding Salesman Before You Write Your Blogpost About The Mancession

"The creator, the artist, the extraordinary man, is merely the ordinary man intensified: a person whose life is sometimes lifted to a high pitch of feeling and who has the gift of making others share his excitement. The ordinary man lives by the creative spirit. He thinks in images and dreams in fantasy; he lives by poetry. Yet he seems to distrust it. He clings to the notion that a poet is a queer and incompetent creature, a daydreaming ne'er-do-well, an eccentric trying to escape the business of the everyday world, a soft and coddled soul.

Almost the opposite is true. History is the record of men who were not only poets but workers, men of action, discoverers, dreamers and doers. Sir Walter Raleigh's exploration of Guiana and other expeditions in the New World brought him fame and envy. Sir Philip Sidney was a soldier whose gallantry on the field of battle is a deathless story. Geoffrey Chaucer, "father of English poetry," was a diplomat and secret agent on the king's business in Europe. John Milton was Cromwell's fighting foreign secretary.

Nor have poets failed in labor and industry. Ben Jonson was a bricklayer. Robert Herrick was a jeweler. Robert Burns was a plowboy. William Blake designed, printed, and sold his own books. William Morris manufactured furniture. Long before he became known as the greatest American poet of his time, Robert Frost worked as a farmer, a bobbin boy in a Massachusetts mill, a shoemaker, and a teacher in country schools."  -Louis Untermeyer

The Kitchen Chimney

Builder, in building the little house,
In every way you may please yourself;
But please please me in the kitchen chimney:
Don't build me a chimney upon a shelf.

However far you must go for bricks,
Whatever they cost a-piece or a pound,
But me enough for a full-length chimney,
And build the chimney clear from the ground.

It's not that I'm greatly afraid of fire,
But I never heard of a house that throve
(And I know of one that didn't thrive)
Where the chimney started above the stove.

And I dread the ominous stain of tar
That there always is on the papered walls,
And the smell of fire drowned in rain
That there always is when the chimney's false.

A shelf's for a clock or vase or picture,
But I don't see why it should have to bear
A chimney that only would serve to remind me
Of castles I used to build in air.

-Robert Frost

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Imelda May? Imelda Does

Imelda May is not a singer. Imelda May is Lady Godiva's better looking sister riding in a rockabilly chariot pulled by three horses she stole from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with a wink, riding roughshod and bareback over the known world, while making Helen of Troy look like Bella Abzug.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Jayzeus H. Keericed On A Cracker. It's March Fer Cryin' Out Loud

Crime Wave

I'm a devotee of police blotters.

The Intertunnel loves police blotters. Lots of newspapers and websites grab mugshots from police websites and get a few jollies looking at the ebb and flow of squalid run-ins with the law. It allows some people to easily find other people to look down their nose at, and so feel better about themselves for no reason other than they're currently at large. Since every celebrity of every sort is arrested more or less weekly (it's how they got all celebrified in the first place, sometimes), there's a luxuriant undergrowth of familiar faces standing in front of a concrete block wall holding up a number in a desultory fashion, too. Those are fun, of course, but they can't compare to small town police blotters.

I publish the Rumford, Maine police blotter at the Rumford Meteor most every week. It's notable for the lack of notable crimes, mostly, and the achingly small sums involved in everything. There's not a lot of poetry to the entries here, and pathos is in short supply;
11/26 – 6:57 PM, Ptl. Miller investigated a gas drive off from a local business. Suspect was located and returned to pay for the gas. No charges.
Its lack of CSI Wherever material is not a detraction for me. Regular people bumping along are interesting. And so it was to fertile ground that reader and commenter Dinah broadcast her suggestion to look into the Bozeman, Montana police blotter. It doesn't disappoint. It's got a no-nonsense Jack Webb kind of vibe, with just a hint of Fife:

  • At 1:20 a.m. a female was found walking down Seventh Avenue wearing pants and a bra. She said that her boyfriend had taken her shirt and kicked her out of the car.
  • An employee of a Main Street business reported "intoxicated or high" teenagers were approaching store customers. Officers determined the teens were not intoxicated.
  • A mother called for help after her 3-year-old daughter's thumb got stuck in the top of a Parmesan cheese container. The girl's thumb had started turning blue.
  • An injured ram was reported on the west side of U.S. Highway 191.
  • Cash register tape that unrolled may have triggered a burglar alarm at a North Seventh Avenue store around 3 a.m.
  • A man was warned around 4 a.m. about his loud singing as he was walking to his vehicle in a parking lot on East Main Street.
  • A man got out of his vehicle on North 19th Avenue to yell at another driver around 3 p.m.
  • A woman reportedly threatened a man on Facebook.
  • A vehicle stopped in the middle of Springhill Road around 9:30 p.m. with bright lights on belonged to a man looking for his cat.
  • A caller captured a weasel near Catron Street around 2:30 p.m. A wildlife agent was contacted.
  • Someone egged a forklift parked near Cedar Wood Circle and Thatch Wood Lane over the weekend.
  • A Montana Rail Link employee asked deputies to keep an eye out for anyone trying to steal grain out of derailed rail cars near Heeb Road until they unload them Wednesday.
  • Three intoxicated males were "flipping the bird" to passing vehicles on Tracy Avenue at 1 a.m.
  • Someone cut the tail off of a man's horse on Cameron Bridge Road.
  • A 20-year-old female was arrested for stealing sandwiches from a business on 11th Avenue.
  • A group of teenagers hanging around a construction site on West Lamme Street around noon weren't doing anything; they were just hanging around.
This is not a police blotter. It is a lyric poem. For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn would be just another entry on it.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What's New Pussycatbox?

The Legion Of Rock Stars (putting the listenable in unlistenable!) have altered "What's New Pusscat?" Pray they do no not alter it any further.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Portrait of Edouard and Marie-Louise Pailleron

Portrait of Edouard and Marie-Louise Pailleron by John Singer Sargent, the greatest painter who ever lived. Years back I stood in front of this painting in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It is more or less haunted by those children and the artist. You have to stand in front of it to know what I mean. I turned a corner to enter the exhibition and these two were there, and the little one in the white dress was levitating off the canvas. We walked up to the canvas and it's just the typical Sargent mess. It looks like he borrowed a housepainter's brush, and drank his lunch, too. Back a few feet it's like x-rays and DNA samples and five volumes of diaries.

It's in Des Moines, Iowa, of all places, now. Decent docent.

Sargent painted their parents first, too. They got their money's worth out of him, no more. There was some sort of battle going on to paint the children -- between Sargent and their parents, or Sargent and the children, or Sargent and the entire world, or something. He put something into the painting that's not visible, but it's tangible. The children are immortal now. The canvas makes you God, and some know how to paint an Eden or a Gehenna on it.