Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trash Day

                                  (((((Trash Day)))))

 Wednesday - January, 30th

  Reaching down into the dirty dish water,  calculating the odds of a fork going under my fingernails. I remember what day it is   

Some days have a rhythm 

Today, it's the mighty one,    "Boom"

Africa and South America can run up to razor wire and stop short, without confrontation or injury
Their musicality prepares them, protects them 
The magic "&" is adept and busy
A seperate entity from politics and powers

European technocrats lay down a foundation lacking fragility on purpose. Their pomposity precludes them 

The "one" plods on

In America, it's just another day wedged between stations 

On trash day, the mighty "one" can be seen at the water hole rubbing hind quarters with the endless "&" 
Trash day is "four on the floor" in what passes for a groove in the vapidity of Central California. It remains something of an acceptable obstacle for the mono theistic

The "one" is a fence with busted glass on top, while the "&" is a heart beat, it has to live in the ditch on either side of the "one" 

To stop jumping is to start bleeding   
Trash day

Take the old eggs out
Take the puddle of taco grease out
Take the dog shit out

..............To the curb, with a sense of timing

                             We make space on trash day

A Jetliner passes overhead, heard but not seen, the sound blends together with a lawn mower down the street, they are strangely in tune
A trucking line running coast to coast has a driver that still plays C.C.R. (the Cosmos Factory) and Led Zeppelins (Coda) back to back on dirty cassette tapes. He knows every word and sings pitch perfect at full volume from state to state. He is Howlin' Wolf with a green rabbits foot key chain, Elvis Presley with a hard pack of Marlboro's rolled up in the arm of a short sleeve shirtThe CB radio, with the knob broke off in full squelch position emits a friendly yellow light into his dark diesel time capsule 
Hazmat endorsements and a family photo are clipped to the visor

When you ride on the "one" you must pay tribute to the "and" Not so much something you think on, it's reflexive, compulsory, like taking off your hat in respect at a grave or making the sign of the cross on your chest (if that's what you do)  

            A fruit stand civilization is a busy place 

A bird chirps in a completely unusual time signature outside my kitchen door

Balancing the last wet bowl on the pile of clean dishes
I grab the kitchen trash with one hand and the door knob with the other, the dog runs out ahead of me

Tribute to the one, variations on a theme...Wednesday
Functioning like a steamroller I will organize this place. Because it is Wednesday.
Unblinking stuff. Cleaning, wood stacking, checking the oil in the pickup and recycling some aluminum beer and soda cans.
 I have some rum hidden away in an old cymbal bag and I fully intend to get to it. A counter-spell

A phone call later I have friends on the way.  People full up on the "one" and fed up with the fence. Bleeders, train wrecks, philosophers, misfits... Insane musicians holding down their Jeklle and Hyde lives one day at a time.
Two sticks of Nag Champa are waiting to be lit

Jam night

We make a lot of noise and the neighbors in 2013 dont seem to know what they are missing
Poor bastards, you can see it in their face
They don't get it 

I am beginning to recognize what we are doing. Sometimes the "one" has you and there is no escape. Sometimes we can mix the two and live an artsy life. 
I'm not crafty enough to position myself  correctly so I make my offerings. Crooked as they are  

Here's to "getting on with it"
In our own way 

A toast!
To the mighty "one" 

And another!
for the cheerful anticipation
of the mighty "&" 



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Donald Trump V the Killer Bees

Assumptions and the fish

I can operate a television but I can’t get very specific about how it works. I could never assemble one from scratch (without instructions) and I just don't care.  You and I might freely admit this "not knowing" how to build a television but somehow there is some amount of pride wrapped up in "knowing" how nature works and "knowing" how the universe works. We puff up and get “managerial” about the place.  (("Oh those?, those are the Andes, and him? he's just a fish")) As if we know something.
Fish to fish communication is not our problem. It would only complicate things. The managers of this human enterprise are very sure of themselves. The willingness to be the first to take something that doesn't belong to you metastasizes and envelops the original structure leaving a mass that might read books by Donald Trump and perhaps drive a new Corvette.          

Why the disdain for fish and mountains? What is wrong with us?
Most of us can’t bring it to vocalization; it’s just too darn emotional to even start. We got to keep up the facade. Unyielding and generally unsympathetic is seen as a positive personality trait in nine out of ten subjects roaming the sandbox.  

 If we could ever just assume that the rocks and the oceans, the plants and critters, might actually have points of view all their own instead of the ubiquitous cause and effect logic welded permanently to our present world view, then our goofy assumptions would become our strengths instead of the love of strength being the basis of our goofy assumptions. 

 A spider and a tree walk into a bar....

In a stroke of unmatched Hubris, ..Humans.. Are love struck with a lopsided dominion over fictitious forces. LIFE is self-determining and our own definition of the word itself lacks vision and reflects very little of our accumulated data. Our childlike mentality permits a two dimensional animal to wiggle toward treats or squiggle from danger, nothing contemplative shall be considered like a Judge refusing to allow evidence to enter court. Life on Earth is what we are looking down on with contempt, a green carpet with its fibers able to jump up and run around on purposeful mini missions for a bit before reattaching to the floor. With eyes, ears, hearts and brains we lie to ourselves in a last ditch effort to maintain a certain feeling of Kingship over the natural world. The natural world, however, has to contend with what it has produced. A man with an earth sized ego, a child rebelling against his parents, slamming doors we didn't pay for. 

Our very best science aficionados take the podium offering us a sneering side comment intent on its dutiful re-dissemination. It is directed toward a crowd of lawn furniture, remaining careful to avoid eye contact with the hawk on the fence and the spider on the microphone, 
"I can do what ever I want," bellows our tantrum of self deceit. The wind replies by shaking the leaves on the eucalyptus trees.  The sound and the smell along with a temperature change for the cooler sends a shiver up the orators back.


  We are so completely in love with ourselves that two birds tweeting away to each other from tree to tree cannot penetrate our personal fictions. We refuse to allow them an equal level of consciousness. They are obviously singing nonsense unless we get honest with ourselves for a minute. "We have a written language" is a proud batch of syllables we are fond of referring to. In a moment of weakness, we give up a little ground by observing in book form the mating rituals of male birds dominating the competition, a line of reasoning to lower the creature in our minds while we are pretending to see their beauty. We like our beauty in a box, even if its only a mental one. Thinking about birds acting out their entire lives on pure instinct is a great way to objectify an animal when you are intending to cut down their forest. Will a bird actually have to text the word "tweet" to us in order to be thought of as something which thinks? Our human thoughts are so strangely self petting and dim that I find it difficult to categorize the beast in line at Taco Bell anywhere above a flying creature that has a compass and a calendar as standard equipment. A gorilla can use sign language to communicate its feelings and we don't generally give two shits. It's considered a circus trick, something you read at the dentist’s office then forget entirely. 

(((for the bees)))

Using our own serotonin-laced logic, if a population of killer bees took over the world and drove us to live in caves, they would now have a respectable language and newly recognizable beehive townships, a culture of their own, progressive, organized and successful. We would be free to speak incoherent nonsense back and forth between caves but we would be doing so for dominance and mating reasons alone. The bees would have earned the right to ignore our status as conscious beings. We respect power and alter word meanings to accommodate enterprise. 

Defining a company as a living thing is the flexing of a crafty mental muscle by monkeys on moonshine and by making sure to keep the Boreal forests of North America ill defined and stripped of consciousness, we are then free to literally blow our noses at it.

((I guarantee you;  "Kleenex" or rather (Kimberly Clark Corporation) is a boycott-worthy organization.))

The world will allow us exhaust ourselves. I feel like we have just begun to cry it out on the couch. No, we can’t "do whatever we want" we are a family, immensity more bizarre than the bar scene in Star Wars. 
WE need each other for survival, for peace of mind and for reasons we can feel but cannot wrap our heads around. 

        People talk. What if everything else does too?


Monday, January 28, 2013

Scatterlogical Bike Thoughts

 what I am describing is semi subtle and nuanced, like a wine snob telling you there is essence of pepper and oak in your glass of old grape juice, you take this verbiage with a pinch of salt and slug it down.
“Motorbike circling” is a low key, beer in hand, fully necessary ritual that gets repeated a thousand times nightly by bikers everywhere all over the world. We love these machines and in most cases, staring at them is almost as fun as riding them. After some general admiration, I usually inspect the bike for anomalies, leaks and missing bolts. Always a spooky moment when you find any piece of the bike with its screws backed half way out, so it’s a good tradition to wrench on the worst offenders from time to time, cutting them off at the pass well before the rules of entropy come to get you. The bolts on my exhaust pipes have come loose 3 times so they are on the short list of suspects when I check things out. I check the fluids, get another beer and hell, why not get a flashlight involved? Wouldn’t you know it? The screw that holds my chrome air filter cover is gone, but it seems like it is right cozy where it is and the plastic side covers overlap just enough to make it a non worrisome thing. Still, I wonder how long it’s been gone? Missing stuff is just plain irksome and things like this bring my eyebrows dawn to half mast, a sexy look in the mid Paleolithic I’m sure.
Zee Bike (The bike of my affections in the center of the garage) is a ten speed Honda CB900 Custom from the year of someone else’s lord 1980 and it’s a bit of a rare bird, making parts difficult to find but she’s no Italian mystery bike either. It closely resembles the CB750 and might actually have the same frame, I’m not sure. The Honda 750 was a success story in and of itself. Thousands of them blanket the countryside once you start looking. Every motorcycle parts yard has one sitting in some state of completion, if not three or five. It's the 750 I wanted originally with the sheer amount of available parts a top priority, but I am glad to have the odd 900 because it has a bit more punch for the mountains we live in and it’s a proper motorcycle by my estimation. Weirdities on this machine include a shaft drive that runs diagonally over to the right rear tire, putting the disk brake on the left causing the guys at Honda dealership in Fresno to put my tire on the wheel backwards. I tried to be as polite a I could when pointing at the arrow on the tire. They had never had one of these in their shop I guess. It caused a momentary stir and the shop disruption was a first inclination to how rare this bike actually is and how difficult it was going to be to keep it up and running should something fail. The gearing is 5 high and 5 low making this - the bike with two heads, a total freak. Motorbikes on the roads today have 5 or 6 gears and one shift lever, where mine has 10 gears and an extra foot lever to switch between two sets of five (High and Low) I am getting very adept at finding the perfect gears to save gas or chew up curves. On a motorcycle, it becomes very clear that your riding style has a lot to do with miles per gallon and I swear that I get 20 extra miles out of this bike per tank after a mere 3 summers' ownership. But. . . . . . this brings me to something worth talking about. When it comes to motorcycles, fuel economy is NOT at all synonymous with safety; in fact they are closer to polar opposites, especially in the hills (Yosemite area). Up here, you are either going uphill or down and you are constantly in transition from one curve to another, the way we stick these bikes to the road firmly is an absolute waste of gas.
))................................................................................... If you have a tachometer you can watch your RPMs (revolutions per minute) and the lower they are, the more gas you are saving in a nutshell. Over time you can just hear and feel the proper RPMs (depending on what you are trying to achieve).  I usually live between 4 and 5 thousand and I really like having the tach on there to see what I’m up too. But.. saving gas puts you in a dangerous position if you let it.......... ENTER THE SQUIRREL.................................................................................................................................................................... The problem here is that riding quietly through your turns at one constant gas-sipping speed is not exactly safe. It's counter-intuitive, but it's true. The guy making all the noise bumping through gears and looking a bit showy is (usually) fully focused and stuck like glue to the road and his counterpart, the casual safety commuter in the reflective yellow vest, is living dangerously and will one day try and brake in a turn for "zippy the wonder squirrel" and slide right off the road. His crime is simply riding too lightly. Something we hear less about than the usual case of someone hauling ass, then blowing the curve. Going painfully slow in the wrong gear on a motorbike is like remaining a pacifist when a man with a pen knife and a limp is walking towards the playground. Things are about to get real. You have to be proactive in both circumstances.
The cars on the road with you like to push the speed limit at all times and if you want to keep those cars off your butt you will have to kick it up a notch once in a while. Going safe and slow with a maniac on yer backside is a quick way to get run over. Have no faith in the driver in your mirrors, it's not so much that they don't SEE you (sometimes they don't). It's mostly that they just don't give a shit about you. The whole endeavor needs to be taken as seriously as piloting a plane or deep sea diving. Focus on the basics and focus some more. In fact, it’s almost entirely a game of focus. Motorcycles are no place for the attention deficit crowd. Go outside and look at your car. Are there any dents? If so, don’t even think about it. “No soup for you.”
The debatable gyro effects Have you ever had a gyroscope? The right revs gives the bike this otherworldly stability that feels just like one, but as far as actual facts go, I can only point at the feeling you get in a corner in the perfect gear with the perfect amount of throttle leaning at the perfect angle allowing you to put g-forces exactly where you want them in the turn. However you slice it, when you get it right it feels like you're tapping into magic forces, but when you get to penny pinching and you are thinking about saving gas instead of gravity and you round the curve at 2000 rpm’s (or worse,…neutral ahem..) you get none of those cool gyro benefits working for you.  Maybe it's only engine braking! I dunno, but there seem to be some extra supernatural forces working magic spells in the curves. I start to hear Santana music and congas…. Oh yes, I’m totally insane.. moving on.
This here bike of mine is an evolutionary link between the ubiquitous 750’s and the large cushy Goldwings that you see every day. A little too small to be a true Interstate cruiser and a bit too much to be a lightweight Brit bike impostor, it’s the perfect bike for me. I’m not a college hipster and I’m certainly not a Goldwing straddler… yet. ha ha. I believe the 900 was faded out to make a clear distinction on the showroom and the extra gears were all too much to think about in real world application. You have to hand it to Honda for never being afraid to push the inventive envelope. I imagine the think tank over there has mad scientists chained to desks on a full time cocaine drip laced with mushrooms and peyote to keep their ideas coming so consistently. The CB series of bikes of today hardly resemble their Neanderthal brethren at all. But the lineage is alive and the variations on a theme are all over the map (there is even a new "retro" CB1100 being put out soon), but the price tag is something like nine grand! If you want retro, spend $800 bucks on a cb750 at a yard sale and use the remaining $8,200 to take six months off and traverse the globe. Honda was the brains behind the Enduro and much like saying, “I’ll have a Coke” when you mean any soda will do, the word we throw round for a street legal offroad bike is Enduro regardless of the actual make... Now there exists a new breed that leans more toward the street but it ain’t afraid to get muddy and they call them “sport tourers.”  Not nearly as catchy as “Enduro.” In fact, quite lame. If they wanted to sell motorbikes they should have consulted me first on this one. You call them “Enduro Street” and you make a few million bucks. That’s a freebie, your welcome. I am not entirely sold on the new “sport tourers” because I only see them on the street. They seem a bit too heavy for any offroading more than a gravel road to me. BMW has some beauties, but I have to say that a motorized bicycle should never cost more than your goddamned car! My old used bike cost me nearly nothing and it puts me on top of the Sierra camping right alongside all of them fellas with the huge monthly payments to contend with.
Summer 2012 on my camping trip through Yosemite,there were Harleys and BMWs and Showroom quality Triumphs all over the place, all so shiny and pretty, but they make me laugh if I think about the enormous cost differences in our exactly similar road trips. In fact, I watched a brand new BMW G5-800 pass me by on the back of a tow truck on the way to Tuolumne Meadows and had a big ol’ chuckle at his expense. I could see him in the passenger seat wearing a very nice custom leather jacket and staring straight ahead as if to indicate his pre knowledge of the evil giggle fit I would be having inside my full faced helmet on my thirty-two year old CB 900. You got to laugh…just a little. People with old funky equipment take weather seriously and check their gas gauge and oil too.
the cliff notes. . .. ........ .Circling your bike in the garage with a flashlight and a beer is justified and necessary ............. .. . .... . . . Burn a little extra gas and stick yourself firmly to the tarmac.. . . Zippy the wonder squirrel is out to get you............................... “Enduro” is a killer name for a bike and a great middle name for your first born, such as (Kevin“Enduro"Gatsby................................................... “Sport tourer” is an awful name for a bike, but a great name for European tourists.

I always say “safety third” and I‘m always kidding. See you down the road. B.E.B.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Dad thoughts 101, or........... Weather versus Kids versus Dad versus the first period bell....... Mid January, school routine, a few years back.
I notice that we all repeat ourselves. The repeat cycle a parent must initiate in order to incite the slightest compliance is amazing. “Did you bring a jacket? Where is your jacket? Go back upstairs and retrieve a jacket”…. Moments later we are all miraculously packed into the car, buckled up and rolling down the driveway when it occurs to me to just have a look over at my passengers (AKA the kids, my boys )……… sitting fidgety and blank-faced in the back seat, without jackets! …..It’s snowing out and these boys both have the natural survival instincts of lawn darts. I might be inclined to roll down my window and collect some snow off the windshield and flick it at them, but it didn’t make an impression last time. Instead I stop the car, put it in park and exhale slowly out my nose. In a voice reserved for veteran parents that live in the trenches, this is the monotone of muted frustration. It arises parallel to a complete awareness that we have now officially become our parents. “Take off your seat belts” and “go back in the house” and “go up the stairs“ and “get your jackets and then come back to the car so we can go to school and you won’t die of hypothermia... O.K.?”….I think I got through… They say “uuuuughhhh” in frustrated unison and without looking I can feel the eye rolls I am receiving through the headrest. Is this the stuff I am supposed to look back on with warm fuzzy feelings? Gee, I hope not. And no… it ain’t over, they return with something on…. a “hoodie.” A sad modern excuse for a sweatshirt which would have almost passed inspection, but no…These thin cotton masterpieces are not much thicker than a common tee shirt, loose knitted so you can practically see through them, useless….. I am forced to roll down the window and stop them in their tracks “go back inside and get real jackets!” and the facial expressions are officially in. “Dad’s an idiot.” Do I really have to point at the snow again? Do I really have to quote the temperature and verbally explore pressing environmental factors like freezing to death? Do I have to point up at the sky as snowflakes as big as corn flakes float down onto my boys and their un-hatted heads? ….Yup. Yes I do, Parents are robots. No doubt. They are made. I need to call my mom and dad and thank them for not strangling me. To quote my mother out of context, “You two kids are turning my brain into guacamole.” Mom has a way with words and “guacamole brain” is a real condition, I need to write up a research grant and organize a public awareness concert. I return home to find the front door wide open. It’s my fault. I didn’t actually instruct them to “close” the front door on the way out. Wouldn’t you know it? I do feel warm and fuzzy about these thoughts. How strange.