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Showing posts from January, 2009

Wallace Stevens, A High Toned Christian Woman

(This is the poem that my blog was named after - it's almost my theme)



"A High-Toned Old Christian Woman "
              by Wallace Stevens


Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame.

Take the moral law and make a nave of it

And from the nave build haunted heaven. Thus,


The conscience is converted into palms,

Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.

We agree in principle. That's clear. But take

The opposing law and make a peristyle,

And from the peristyle project a masque

Beyond the planets. Thus, our bawdiness,

Unpurged by epitaph, indulged at last,

Is equally converted into palms,

Squiggling like saxophones. And palm for palm,

Madame, we are where we began. Allow,

Therefore, that in the planetary scene

Your disaffected flagellants, well-stuffed,

Smacking their muzzy bellies in parade,

Proud of such novelties of the sublime,

Such tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk,

May, merely may, madame, whip from themselves

A jovial hullabaloo among the spheres.

This will make widows wi…

IBM is maiking money?

Business Update




 IBM is making money – how? Evidently it’s a combination of execution, high end software sales and cuts. It smells bad – a good business reporter should be able to dig something up on this. There is little market for high end software -- no market, at all, for service contract extensions, and cuts are cuts. Not sure what they are executing, but doubt it can last -- or be real in the first place.

 Apple – any analyst that thought they wouldn’t make their forecasted earnings should be defrocked – it was that obvious.

 Best Buy – forecast that they will drop earnings from $2.70 to $2.50 in the next quarter. They are crack heads in a time machine set to 2006 if they think that’s going to happen.

 Amazon earnings up – between them and Craigslist, EBay is doomed in a marginal, large supermarket kind of way. EBay is an example of a company throwing the goose that laid golden eggs into a jet engine after freezing it to death.

 Big banks – most are dead husks of themselves…

Negotiate

‘If all your negotiations are always successful, you are a very poor negotiator and won’t last long around here.’

(From an unnamed source high up in an administration)

I heard this and thought in my gut -- this is so wrong and so outside my experience … it might be right.

We don’t live in a long term country and don’t think or plan for what’s best for the future. Enlightened self interest seems to require a winner take all, adversarial, and zero-sum approach to all things lively and monetized. We love our grandkids, but will pull out nickels from their ears to hide the dollars we borrow in their name. We are not long-sighted people, for whatever reason you pick or choose.

I have always thought of negotiation as compromise. You meet, talk, decide what’s really important to you – then compromise and learn to live with the parts you don’t like, and maybe, plant seeds for the future that might get you a little more of what you really want. Goodwill, honesty and an eye for future interacti…

To Obama

My Advice to Barak Obama

--> “Evil isn’t driven out; it’s crowded out by the expulsive power of good.” MLK I was a coronary care nurse two years before they allowed me to train to take care of open heart patients. Part book learning, but mostly hands on with another nurse – the training itself took another six months before they allowed me to work on my own. The actual work involved getting to know the stages of post-op – the cold patient warming up and all the body’s dislocations that happened in the process. We had to learn the first sixteen hours without killing anyone, or waking the surgeon unnecessarily. But mostly, we had to learn to live with the terror of the transfer.

Anesthesiologists brought the patients back to ICU after surgery. It was the luck of the draw who you got and how well they were organized. The patients themselves made a difference – the sick ones went later in the day after the routine cases had finished. Difficulties in surgery – sewing veins on a fresh…

Israel and Pretty Talk

The Politics of Dancing



Talking pretty is good, writing pretty is great – it’s more portable and the emotions raised come from an internal place, not the rubbing, frictional land of chemicals and shared experience.


That being said, I also like a good poop in the morning. A poop that makes me feel like I’ve expressed a daemon -- not the vagal ones that give me referred pain and anxious moments -- and certainly not the juicy ones that use up half a roll of paper and require a quick shower as well.

So I am not without a sense of the beauty of primitive things, but still find the power of words and intelectual muscle flexing sublime and without counterpart in that other reality of the senses.

Which brings me to Alan Dershowitz.

A good poet can take a thing that you know in your head and twist the juices out of it until it’s condensed and simple. A great poet can then rehydrate it with a sum of all souls and allow you to touch god – much like a good French cook does with his rendered and …

The Economy

The Economy


You have seen the winter coming – it hasn’t been sneaking this year. The snow has come down hard several times,and every morning you have to scrape the ice off your car.


But now it’s a full blown, bat shit kind of blizzard and all you can do is watch it come down on you. No one is working, no traffic is on the streets and everything is closed up tighter than a drum.

As you stand on the steps outside your front door, smoking and freezing like any addicted fool would do under the same circumstances, you notice a burly guy walking down the street heading for you with a snow shovel. Before you can get back in the house – because you know he’s looking for a few bucks to clear your sidewalk, and your too broke to say yes, at least until it stops snowing, you see him wind up like he’s playing softball, then swinging  like the fences are a possibility.

You hear the swoosh of compressed air and then feel the impact of the flat aluminum shovel as it hits your face straight on. You…

Predictions 2

2012

--> OK the scenario I think most likely. It’s easy to see if you take us out of the picture. China – big depression – like ours, only with billions of people and no safety net.

China – authoritarian because they know the masses can’t be put back in the bottle after uncorking – funnel the unemployed into project – Military (discipline et al) – to take back Taiwan – mild rebuke from us, we step in, but don’t go crazy – big battle, China loses – but gains enough to be really pissed off. We are exhausted by the battle to assist.

(2017 ed. -- nope)

China steps back, acts nice – then North Korea falls apart and attacks the South.  China step in the North –‘to calm’ water, but tries to keep the south under its political control. We are again exhausted by our effort to assist – the South does win, but China has leverage and nominal control of the South and big time control of the North.Reunification looms large -- but in a 'let's all vote freely and get Hamas into power,…

Working like a Dog

I have not felt like writing the last week or so; job, relationship and other things just making me paralyzed and only semi-functional. I received this picture by email this morning from my buddy Ricky, and it seemed to cry out for attention, and made me laugh a little, (and yes, that is a battery charger attached to my nipples.)

So -- I am pasting in an old writing from my days installing tires for Goodyear, but really, the picture says it all.

29 November 2003

I am 49 years old, and through misdeeds/mistakes find myself working as a tire installer in San Jose. The job I do requires lots of skill, but those skills can be learned with practice after a couple of weeks. A Union is the side that won the civil war- sort of historical footnote rather than something helpful in everyday work life. I am a blue-collar guy now, though THAT thought makes me laugh a lot.
I work with kids- 20 year old kids. I am the self-assured one at work- I am unflappable, the old man, the rock. I have salt and…