blivet – Jan 22, 2001

Doc points to Michael O’Connor Clarke’s commentary on the President’s interview by Barbara Walters. I checked out the ABC transcript, at least to preserve my inner dialog’s pretext of fairness. sigh. Four years… balance? I have no balance. I’m going back to selling water by the river.

Doug at Erehwon Notebook muses: I find myself wondering if I’m finding some sort of balance, or did I just get old and tired? I can’t speak for you personally, but from my point of view I lean towards balance. I remember being told the ‘great things’ were expected from me. But then, maybe I’m old and tired … I’d like to choose balance for my final category Alex.

There is a lot of good stuff over there, have a look around.

There is a lot of good stuff all over the place. I find myself nodding, or thinking about things I read through the several dozen blogs I circulate past every couple of days. Not counting links from them. It seems like I seldom put those things on blivet, at least not nearly as much as I would have eight months ago. Maybe I am consciously trying not to ‘me too’ things. Maybe I’m trying to find my voice in a time of ennui. I dunno. I don’t think I’m old, though I’d never have thought I’d say that 45 was young. I do know I’m tired. Hopefully the doctor’s appointment on Friday will get the ball rolling towards treatment for this long term sleep apnea. perchance to dream…

Mountain Meadows Massacre (Utah)

from the Got Caliche? list This is the relevant text of the summary of a forensic study on bones taken from a Mountain Meadows massacre grave. A new forensic study lends credence to Paiute Indian claims that the tribe did not participate in the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 to the extent history has recorded. Utah American Indian officials say they are pleased with implications of the new evidence for the Paiute Tribe. Prepared by researchers at the University of Utah Department of Anthropology, the 200-page skeletal-trauma analysis was delivered in July to Brigham Young University’s Office of Public Archaeology for inclusion in a final report to state history officials. The report represents the first scientific analysis of a crime of civil terrorism that has few parallels in modern American history. Few people in Utah territory were brave enough to ask hard questions about the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, but George Hicks was one. Hicks’ raw candor and questioning eventually got him excommunicated, but he also is remembered as one of Utah’s greatest folksingers. His song, “Once I Lived in Cottonwood,” is a classic satire of the hardships of pioneering in the harsh “Dixie” landscape, where “the red hills of November/Looked the same in May.”

blivet – everything is possible

First day back to work and we’re heading out to do more fieldwork. The sound of mental gears shifting as the harness is donned. Have a great day.

Some of the pictures from the cactus salvaging we did on December 13 are circulating through the office. We were given certain ones they got duplicates of. Why do I love the desert? I’m working in a t-shirt at 10 am in the middle of December. The payback comes in the middle of July when it is 115°+F.

cactus salvaging in the Las Vegas Valley on Dec 13, 2000

Ray Walston dead at age 86. He died of natural causes, at home, with his wife at his side. It sounds like a peaceful way to do it. I loved My Favorite Martian when I was a kid. Thanks Mr. Walston.

yesterday garret posted an amazing piece of prose from memory in the context of Al‘s story.

life is a shirt of flame that mortal man has no power to remove. some incorrectly perceive it as burning with the deeds of our past, the life we have lived. but the shirt of flame is our own flesh burning with the desires which we have yet to actualize, the life we have yet to live.

I did a google search for life is a shirt of flame and came up with two possibilities from references in one of the search results: Promethus Unbound by Shelly and an unreferenced T.S. Eliot poem. Does anyone have a better idea of the source of this prose fragment? Its so rich and wonderfully Jungian, I’d love to see it in context. Thanks. Later: A bigger thanks to Dan for the URIs. I’ll let you all know what I find out. First though, I have a cat that is insisting on some attention from the big cat and I’ve been putting him off for a couple of hours.

OK, the cat is about as appeased as this cat gets … If you knew how crazy I am about this pud you may understand how much it take for me to say enough! Back to the quote. In a nice bit of synchronicity (heh!) Ken and I ended up barking up the same tree. (I could have saved myself some time if I would have just checked my mail ’cause Ken’s results were queued on the server.) On The C. J. Jung Page, in the article The Erotics of Blame by Greg Mogenson, M.A., Jungian Analyst, London, Ontario originally published in The Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 37, no. 2, 153-171. Copyright ©, The Society of Analytical Psychology, 1992. This is about halfway down:

… because life itself, a[s] Eliot reminds us, is an “intolerable shirt of flame that human power cannot remove.” Though we would all like to take off this garment, and may even attempt to do so by identifying ourselves as the victims of those we blame, our efforts are in vain.(15) The shirt of flame is our own flesh burning with the desires which we have yet to actualize, the life we have yet to live.

The reference (15) is:

In Prometheus Unbound, Shelley depicts Prometheus as having spent three-thousand years blaming Jupiter for chaining him to a rock. This psychology of blame, Shelley wishes to suggest, characterizes the last three-thousand years of culture. In the poem it is when Prometheus decides to take back the blame that he is unbound. Likewise, for Shelley, the “new age” begins when we let go of blame.

Thanks to Ken and Dan for help in this. And of course garret and Al for being who they are, smart, intelligent, open human beings. Yeah, like I said, webloggers!

Susan has an explanation of how American Retailers’ calendars differ from the Christian liturgical one. My particular favorite is the Great Lenten Paradox. Great writing Susan!

Ken is following (as in actually doing research for crying out loud) the sonar article from yesterday. Meander on over and have a look. Also, my thanks to Dave for his comments.

blivet – May your new year not suck

May your new year not suck comes from Doc Searls. I can’t improve on that sentiment, but I would leave you an image from Thoreau’s Walden. May the streams of your life overflow, flooding the areas around them. May you find your life and the lives around you richer and more joyful than you dared imagine. May you find yourself with upraised clenched fists shouting Yes!

Audrey and I, along with the vast and talented staff here at blivet, wish everyone a healthy and Happy New Year!

Kilshore also pointed me to Doc’s log by bringing up several Quaker-related sites.

Doc mentions “In Quaker meetings, one is moved to speak only if one can improve on the silence.” This is something we teach overtly in Ch’an (Zen) as well, to raise awareness of the inner dialog so it can be stilled. Though if you come here very much you’d never know it. Many Monastic orders (the Benedictines spring to mind) overtly foster this through vows of silence. Its hard to kill the ego if you’re always letting it frolic about. Not improving on the silence is anathema to most ‘business’ meetings. Leadership qualities often seem to be recognized by upper management through excess comment polishing during staff meetings. Leaders listen, then improve upon the silence if necessary. At least, thats how I see it.

Al says: Thank you, each and every one of you, for sharing this place with me. Good Sir, it is we who thank you for having a place so companionable to share.

… Everything is possible. I always enjoy reading what Commander Dave has to say.

Likewise with Andrea. Happy New Year to you and André too!

I haven’t made an appointment to be evaluated for sleep apnea yet (it may be that my wife is too patient, it may be that I need to be urged a bit if I’m not going to take the initiative), but I decided to try those adhesive strips that you put on your nose while you sleep. The idea is that they help keep the airflow going through the nose, thus discouraging the mouth breathing that is snoring’s precursor. I was very impressed. Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months. Well, there was the small matter of Mr. ‘I’m so happy to be home with you’ cat walking on my head, but that was unrelated. Actually, at 14 pounds (5.23 kg) he is no small matter when he is on your head. The only downside to those strips I see (but a big one) is that even following the recommended procedure of ‘remove in the shower or while washing your face’ I managed to remove the upper couple of layers of epidermis off my nose. It was quite painless and I was blissfully unaware until I splashed my face with the soapy water. Then I became aware. I think that will be the extent of this patient’s trials with the adhesive strips. Later: Al is right, and thankfully, his urging is polite as well…

SirDeath, Audrey, and I just got back from seeing Chocolat. I think it was perfect little magical fable, just perfect. I recommend it highly. A lot of people on the IMDB discussion group seem to be down on the film because it was shallow or not done in French with subtitles because it is set in a rural French village. Another claims that the performances were ‘excruciating’ while Dame Judi Dench was ‘merely bad’. Whatever. Obviously your mileage may vary.

I’ve been enjoying the quotes garret currently has in the random rotation at dangerous meta. Chief Joseph, Chief Seattle, Wovoka, Thayendanegea, Black Hawk. Great stuff!

This will probably be it for the year 2000 edition of blivet. We’re going spend a quiet evening at home. If you’re going out to celebrate, please use a designated driver. Alcohol and motor vehicles are a very poor form of natural selection.

Oops, I lied. I was having a look at my Site Meter referrals (that rainbow thingie over on the right) for the last couple of weeks and noticed a google (thru yahoo) search for “suppressing libido”. The stream of searches for “Harry Potter” and “Penis Puppeteers” are one thing, that has been pretty constant. But as for suppressing libidos, well, I’ll leave that for others to advocate. I still have never figured out where the “nude Japanese” searches of a couple of months ago came from. (now I guess they will be back …) Just as a postscript, I think the libido suppression thing came from mentioning Kellog’s creation of Corn Flakes during the ‘obsession with colon cleanliness and bowel movements during the late 19th century’ from several months ago. Or something like that.

I’m going for real now. I hear The Iron Chef marathon going in the other room. Be careful out there, I want to see you in 2001. Thanks for a great year. –Hal


Cool. Ken ran down the e-text download (ftp) for Emma Goldman’s Anarchism and other essays from Project Gutenberg. see Saturday’s blivet for what continuity may exist.

Taking myself less seriously: “Bark bark, fart fart. And then we all die.” A great discussion over in the Userland dg. You’ll understand the quote if you visit. I had to laugh, if you’ve been following some of Dave’s stuff at Scripting News for a while the connection will probably come much faster. Lots of good insight into another path towards self-mastery, which I advocate strongly, regardless of the method. This particular one is especially good if you talk to yourself in a negative manner. All paths lead to the same place.

Now It Can Be Told … The denizens of the blivet hacienda have been on increasingly pointy and uncomfortable tenterhooks since around June concerning the increasingly tardy announcement of the awarding of a five year contract with a three-letter public agency. I’m pleased to report that the announcement was made at 9 am today and it will not be necessary to sell our shoes and other personal items on eBay as Audrey will remain gainfully employed. It’s really distressing to realize how little added value the global prestige and fame that having a weblog brings to the open market for editor memorabilia on auction sites. Now if we just get our stuff back.

Seemingly on cue with the promise of continued income, the Daihatsu Rocky refused to start this morning due to electrical problems. For some reason, a personal appeal for Rocky Rocky Race Truck to ignore the laws of physics went unanswered. Perhaps it was answered, because soon after that we began to hear a new sound. A different sound that I was unfamiliar with, except that I was certain it was the sound an expensive part makes when it needs to be replaced. Ten years and 130,000 miles later and it breaks down. Boy, talk about ‘not building them like they used to’. It seems after some inquiries that would be easier to find parts for an Edsel or a Studebaker Avanti than for this vehicle. Point of Information: this vehicle stopped being imported in 1993, two years after its introduction and parts availability is nearly nonexistent. The vehicle is fairly popular in OZ in its original right-hand drive incarnation as the Fiero (I think thats the model name). Or at least several personal websites from Australia say that its very popular. I know its true, I saw it on the web. This could be your chance to own a distinctive vehicle at a bargain price. No warranty expressed or implied. Purchaser should be aware that once the vehicle crosses the property line phone calls will no longer be returned and mail will be returned marked ‘refused’. Nothing personal you understand.
Later: For those following along on with their blivet scorecards and decoder rings, this is the ‘other’ vehicle. The mini-van Audrey had some problems with in Colorado is the ‘good’ one.

In the two paragraphs above please note the editor’s utter inability to convey ‘tongue in cheek’ in ascii with the disrupting insertion of tags. Later: garret has a suggestion

garret wonders if he is insane, with Behind the Curtain in the pipe on top of everything else. I laughed out loud when I read that. I thought the same thing last night as I was waiting for sleep to come. The sage Zevon was asked to address a situation like this once and did reply: I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

I’m late to this, but I’m glad for you three Martin. I’m sure it’s good to have Sandra and Raphael Nicolaj home. (Raphael Nicolaj is their almost new-born son). Sorry to hear about your computer though, I bet your son is much more interesting …

Version 6.0 of BBEdit˙ from Bare Bones Software is out. I just got through ordering my upgrade.

Good Afternoon. It’s a ‘work on the thesis Monday’ and I’m just getting back to the house about 2:45 in the afternoon. Let’s see what’s out there …

Thank you again Userland! I was getting the

Sorry! There was an error: Can’t find a sub-table named “D:\Guest Databases\www\hostedManilaWebsites2.root”.

error here and was unable to get to blivet earlier this morning, but it has been fixed. (open question …) Am I doing (or not doing) something to cause this error?
Later: I was just rereading the page prior to going to bed and realized that a very literal reading of what I wrote immediately above could sound like I was being snotty to the good folks at Userland because I was getting the error I mentioned. Nothing could be farther from the truth, I really appreciate everything that Dave, Brent, Jake, Jeff, André and I’m sure many others I’m not aware of do to keep things working. I’ve gotten very used to things not being fixed at work, school, and with our ISP until a lot of complaining is done. Not so here, something doesn’t work and when I come back later its fixed. They pay attention to things like that here and I deeply appreciate it. Support people elsewhere have said to me more than once that “you get what you pay for.” Implying that as far as they’re concerned I should be glad for the crappy service I’m getting because I could be getting less. I don’t pay a blessed thing for what I get here at EditThisPage yet things work 99.9% of the time and they fix whats wrong and improve things. Thats more than I get where they have my credit card on file and gleefully charge me on a regular basis. I simply meant above ‘Thanks for fixing a problem that has occurred before’. Sorry for any misunderstanding.


BEHIND THE CURTAIN: a day in the life of webloggers.

Thanks garret for the banner, and to Susan, Andrea, and everyone else for getting things rolling. I agree with Andrea, this is gonna be fun! BTW, everyone is welcome, its an open thing. The entry fee is having a weblog (no particular kind or software) and the willingness to do it. Click on the banner to find out more, or better yet, be a part of it.

“Is this a great planet, or what?” Yes it is Dave, yes it is. You all are in our thoughts over here. Later: I like what you had to say in Dreams.

Some John Hartford that was playing earlier:

Aereo-Plain from 1971. Steamboat Whistle Blues makes me cry, every time. That’s why you gotta turn it up …”  

Mark Twang from 1976. John got his first Grammy for this, in the "ethnic recording" category. Ma! Are we ethnic?

Nobody Knows What You Do 1975. Includes "In Tall Buildings", which along with "Steamboat Whistle Blues" from Aereo-Plain, says more about me (at least my perception of me) than reams of text.”

A trio from Reuters …

U.N. interpreter faces trouble over obscenity. “A United Nations interpreter was in hot water on Friday after he lost his place in a speech and uttered an obscenity heard by assembled heads of state at the U.N. Millennium Summit.” Is this thing on? Its not just presidential candidates …

Catastrophic Event Preceded Dark Ages. “Something catastrophic occurred on Earth 1,500 years ago that may have led to the Dark Ages and coincided with the end of the Roman Empire and the death of King Arthur, a Northern Ireland scientist said on Friday.” This could be interesting … lets see what some of the dendro folks say about this. I’m not going to go near the King Arthur comment.

Shuttle Atlantis (STS-99) Docks to Space Station

I’ve disabled the javascript based counter I was using and am searching for another counter of some sort. Hopefully the connection problems will be reduced.

Good Morning. Its a crisp, cool, beautiful morning in the desert.


Lots of scanning and putting together graphics for a series of large format posters for Wednesday. Tomorrow will be a session with spray-mount and the foam-board. We’ll just talk from the posters. I think it will be more engaging this way, we’ll move around more and not get bogged down with the minutiae that even Archaeologists don’t care about. I think the message will come across better this way. On a side note, I love our HP 2500CM plotter. I used to care and feed for a CalComp 48″ electrostatic plotter that was a nightmare. The HP is just a big 36″ ink-jet Postscript printer. And it just works …

Dave has been thinking about why we never went back to the moon. I read this a while ago and took a walk to think about it. Not because it disturbed me, though it did a little. Reflecting on the space program often disturbs me a bit because I was late to the realization that we really did go to beat the Russians. Somehow I had come to the conclusion that the real reason was the challenge, the quest for space. ‘To boldly go’ and all that. I think that’s the story I wanted to believe. However, I think Dave is spot-on. Going to the Moon may have saved the world. But he ou; [import pproblem? –ed.] it much better than I could paraphrase here. Go have a read …

And so to work …

I know it don’t thrill you,

I hope it don’t kill you.

Welcome to the Working Week…

Elvis Costello

Al‘s finger will take some time to heal (8 weeks), He’s certainly opened my eyes to some hazards of the caregiver profession. I’d never considered the patients to be on that list.

Dave’s absolutely right. I must work on that …


A lot of times what we do for a living doesn’t really touch people in a visible way. I mean we hear ‘thank you’ and ‘good job’ but I think it soon fades into the background tapestry of our experience. I’m really impressed with the vignettes, the little scenes from Al‘s movie that he shares with us. They’re tangible, often palpable experiences for me when I read them. We’re really vulnerable when we’re sick and a lot of the pretext of our lives doesn’t follow into that space. I think it takes a special type of person to dwell in that area. … I guess what I’m trying to say is today’s scene with Mrs. P. reminded me of my Grandmother and it touched me to think of her. Thanks for doing what you do Al, and thanks for telling us about it.

Earlier, Al mentions “the discovery of a large patch of kudzu here in the Portland metro area.” I never supposed I’d hear ‘kudzu’ and ‘Oregon’ in the same sentence. The Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) is bad enough out here in the West. The one-two punch of Tamarisk and Kudzu out here would be like a vegetative Ice-Nine on the few native communities left along the waterways. We’ve done some extensive plant censuses in the local wetlands (AKA the Wash) and I thankfully haven’t heard any reports of Kudzu. Please act quickly local agencies …

Sadness in Santa Fe. sandra and garret’s beloved winslow is gone. Farewell little one, you made more friends than you could know …

from Mike’s Weblog: Stephen’s Guide to the Logical Fallacies. “A handy site if you’ve been reading through some polemic and are trying to put your finger on just what stinks about the argument they are making. Short descriptions and examples of 60 or 70 different fallacies, together with notes on how to prove that the fallacy has occurred.” Good for scrutinizing your own arguments as well.

David at Time’s Shadow Groundhog Day saw Space Cowboys last night. It sounds like we’re going to a matinée today with SirDeath. I’m looking forward to it. Later: Its a fun movie, but not a great movie. I’d have like to see more character development and interaction with the main four (Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner) and some secondary character’s chickens never came home to roost … but hey, its a summer movie. I enjoyed it and would give it a 7.5 out of 10. And … what Dave said about it too.

I haven’t been paying much attention to it lately, but I noticed this morning that the Seti@Home client on Hayduke (the 3400 PowerBook) reports 514 units done with 9016 idle computer hours contributed to the project…

when you’re feeling out of step …

there’s only one thing to do.

fire up ‘macster’ or ‘napster’ and download gene kelly performing ‘singing in the rain’ …

whenever i’m asked who i wished i could grow up and become, i always answer the same … gene kelly or danny kaye. they were always smiling … the world always seemed brighter when they were onscreen.