Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Let's see, we bought a new car, we bought some new furniture, and a rug.
now the Dow Jones drops another 800 points.
So much for our part in stimulating the economy.

Watching SNL last Sat was an inspiration.
If it would guarantee four years of Tina Fey making fun of our little arctic Annie Oakley (Sarah Palin), I think I might be willing to vote for the McPalin ticket.

Government isn't good for anything but humor anyway.
Admit it, don't you miss tricky Dick?
Dan Quayle?
How, how, how, are we ever going to replace W's aleatory pie hole?
So, come on Sarah!
Geez! we're even losing Gerry Schwartz.

Life will always be the miserable food fight it has always been.
Government will continue to be organized crime's jock strap.
And when I say "organized crime", I include religion, of course.

So we need people to make fun of, to insult in sneaky ways that only we sophisticated intellectual types can understand.

Johnny Mac will probably fall asleep as soon as he takes office anyway so Sarah Should Shine.

Think about it.

The Abyss looms. We need a laff.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Splog 9-08

Dist 50.2 mi.
Time 4:53:28 hrs
Avg 10.2 mph
Total miles 952
max spd 34.4

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

Trigger, Grane, Pegasus

Posted on Feel Free to Read

Equis Ethereal

Osti-uma was a traveler,
a dimensional rider
of the cosmic winds,
spiritual slider
through divers portals gently,
like a blond breeze,
warm and golden;
remaining always the watcher,
the witness,
a particle of God’s occipital mass,
directed in this plane
on us, and them—
seeing everything, but
tasked sometimes to be
the comforter, the muse, the guide;
even supplying maternal marrow
when she happened upon
those husks hollowed out,
those empty shells abandoned
but still breathing,
in dire need of rescue,
or resuscitation.

Her beautiful green skin gleamed
smoothly, like a verdant pearl,
for she surely must be
Nature’s offspring,
one of the emerald daughters, who
with her sisters glided
through rocks, buildings, mountains,
hearts and minds;
sent lovingly to observe,
like the Angels of old,
like the dolphins of the deep,
to see it all,
to catalog it all,
and to report
it all.

One day in what would later
be called New Mexico,
on a high desert plateau,
fenced securely with cliffs
and red rock towers
poking fingerlings
into the perfect blueness,
where the wild mustang herds
ran like galloping thunder,
I discovered an ostracon,
perhaps an Anasazi shard of pottery
with part of an inscription which read,
“Osti-uma and Ada-teria were seen…”

Ancient words in aboriginal script,
recording a primal event,
a golden moment
when Osti-uma allowed herself
and her daughter to be visualized,
as they watched one of the first
equine families,
wild and unbroken,
free and unbridled
grazing shoulder to shoulder
a thousand fold,
mantling the sparse desert landscape.

The native was a cliff dweller
and corn farmer,
and his tribe never attempted
to capture, tame, or ride
the snorting stamping steads;
but mid-winter
when the corn baskets were low
and hunger stalked the pueblo,
they did hunt them,
bringing them down
with stone-tipped arrows and spears,
after which they
blessed them,
thanked them,
and ate them.

Osti-uma observed this ritual
and when the horse’s blood was shed
her vibrant thick robes,
usually striped in lush earth colors,
flashed ten kinds of red,
like a spectral barber pole.

She knew
that hunting was barbaric but
necessary for sustenance and survival;
not so with war.
When warriors slayed each other
her beautiful robes
would be drenched fully ocherous
for days, for months, years, eons—
as they are today;
as are my own.

Glenn A. Buttkus September 2008.

Brings to my mind the sort of over arching mythology that R. Wagner used for his "Ring Cycle" brought to an American movie vision of the old west.

Except that Wagner was pro war and the main inspiration for Hitlers own brand of poetic expression.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Toy

Sixty one miles per gallon for the first four hundred miles on the Prius.

There it is, the cute little bugger.

Cedric Seagull looks on admiringly.

Anyway that was the first day, out at the beach.

Later we stayed close to the lake and the weather changed.

We had two more or less sunny days and two rainy foggy days.

We looked at waterfalls.

And sat around the cabin eating cookies and reading books.


Sunday, September 21, 2008


We're about to take off for Lake Quinault.
Somehow the challenge of getting 100 miles on the new car doesn't seem to be as significant, or meaningful as getting 300,000 on the Volvo.
Nothing to brag about.

It (the Toy)came with 1 mile on the odometer, and now it has 65.

Nothing to brag about.


See you next week.

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Car

Today we take the Toy back to the dealer to have the Lo-jack thingy installed.
They are also going to treat the upholstery with Armor-all or something because we ordered the dark upholstery and they sent the light.
And put some kind of coating on the paint.
I don' wanna even know about it.
We bought the lifetime service package and extended warranty because I don' wanna have to deal with taking care of it.

I planned on revealing my newly formed theory today about dinosaur sizes based on some startling new discoveries I've made about bone technology.

But Later for that.

Sunday, we take the Prion (I mean Prius) to lake Quinault for several days of lakeside lounging as a changeup from our Lake Washington lakeside lounging.

Missing my first lesson at SCCC, it figures.
There are omens abounding here. Are they trying to tell me to give up music?
Are they telling me to buzz off?
Am I just to dense, thick, insensitive and obtuse to get the fact that my lack of musical sophistication and inability to play any instrument excludes from the society of real musicians?

I can't even seem to be able to hire players to prop up my artistically anorexic ego.

Zach, over at Gathering Note has a nice article about the Seattle Philharmonic, the opening concert of which I will miss even more, now that I've read.

My mind is beginning to wander so this must be the punch line to today's joke.

So the dog says, "If you think that parachute is going to do you any good, you're outa your mind".

Oh, wait, did I mention that the dog was a poodle?

No wait, maybe it was a cat.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goals, Amazon sucks

I'm steaming right at the moment because today's goal has not been achieved.
I was trying to buy a book from Amazon, but after about 15 minutes of farting around going round and round with e-mail addresses and passwords, I finally had to give up.
Apparently, if you've ever bought anything from these turkeys, you have an "account"
And, if you have an "account" you have to remember your "password" but if you try have them remember your "password" for you, you have to type in a lot of information only to be told that that's not good enough you already have an account or some damn thing.
It's like dealing with the government getting shuttled from A to B to C to D to A, round and round.
Just to get let in to the store.
Can you imagine what it would be like at the grocery store if you had to remember a password before you could give them your hard-earned?

So screw 'em!

It's yesterdays goals I want to talk about anyway.
Yesterdays goals were 60 and 900


So I got up early and left the house at around 8:00 to ride around the lake and a little extra.
So here ya go,

60.6 miles
5:21:59 hours
11.2 mph average speed
35.1 mph maximum speed
902 miles accumulated miles.

Next goal will probably be "riding my age" or 66 miles.
And a thousand accumulated.

So, up Lk Wash to I-90 and across the lush park like rolling hills of the Mercer Island trail and the boardwalk of Mercer slough to the east Lk Wash trail.
Then it's north.
North to the thriving metropolis that is Bellevue, where the trail disappears and one wends his way through the streets until one finds Bellevue way.
then it's a long, but gentle uphill slog and a swift breeze (25 mph) down to 520 and into Kirkland.
After a brief few flat miles along the waterfront (less ans less water as more and more building rises between the street and the lake), another, longer, steeper pump out of Kirkland.
Leading to a very nice (over 30 mph) downhill run into Juanita.
Then after another brief jaunt along the condo construction the other side of which one can assume there is a large body of water (there used to be), it's the notorious long climb to Kenmore.
A long climb that is rewarded by a long and fast (35 mph) drop to the Sammamish slough, Kenmore air harbor, and Logboom park.
I had planned to take a break here (at 30 miles) but really felt like keeping on.
now, south on the Burke Gilman trail to the UW, where I turned off the lake and headed toward Ballard, still on the B-G trail.
Finally after riding under the Fremont bridge, I stopped for food, water and rest at 42 miles.
Sat on a bench beside the Ship canal and watched the boats go by for 15 minutes, then proceeded toward Ballard till the trail became truly unpleasant then turned around and headed home.

Back to UW, zoom past MOHAI, wiggle through the rabbit warren of residential streets bypassing the Arboretum, fly through the notorious "S" bends just past Bush (no relation, I believe) School, up over the bump past the Cobain house and, finally on flat land once again, past Mama Williebelles to Leschi, where I failed to purchase a peach juice cold drink and had to settle for raspberry-banana instead.
O.K. at least it was cold.
Back under I-90 bridge, back through Madison beach, zoom around Stan Sayers pit area,
past the tight curve at 50th street, fly by the marina, turn up the really steep hill out of Seward park then on to Rainier beach, up 57th to Roxbury where a tiny detour and back brings the total miles to the mark already mentioned.
And home again.


Home, where Meredith informs me that the Prius is ready at the dealer.

I was so excited by this news that I immediately took a nap fro about an hour then staggered into the shower and into some reasonably decent looking clothing and we drove the Volvo to Auburn and picked the silly space ship up.

Had a celebratory dinner at Taco Time.

So now we got it and what next?

She wants new furniture.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Berak Obama, Matt Smith, Peter Brickman

We went to the Obama fundraiser.
I tried to get M to go downtown for dinner at the Pike , but she didn't want to.
So the 2:00 t0 4:00 event used up the whole day and I didn't get to any day of music junk at all.
Actually David's show at the Nordstrom was the only thing I was really interested in and that happened at the same time as the Obama thing.
I'd like to pontificate on the important difference between the two events, how the political one was actively helping change the world situation and "save democracy", as Dwight Pelz put it, thereby making it the important thing, but I don't really think the choice of politicians will have any but the most negligible effect on the crushing weight of historical drift.

Democracy comes and goes.
Fascism comes and goes.
Or, more accurately it all exists at the same time and all we can do is "know when to hold 'em", et cetera.

But music is always music
(sharp eyed students of logic will notice that
the foregoing two analyses' express the same philosophy)

It just seems that any time I have a musical adventure planned, some other complication comes along to interfere.
Fr'instance the opening concert of the Seattle Philharmonic happens on the same weekend that the book group is meeting at a cabin owned by one of the Book group members.
The place is located near Spokane and is a weekend overnighter.

I was hoping to meet the cellist who has shown some interest in the duet.

Before it was too late once again to get the piece on the salon.

Anyway they raised 16,000+ bucks for the big "O" for campaign ads to annoy us with between now and November.
Part of which was our 500 buck donation and the $100 chocolate cake we bought at the auction.

An auction superbly conducted by Matt Smith, a local actor, comedian and auctioneer.

Great guy.

I once worked on a car of his that he wanted to sell.
As I remember he had to make about $150 in repairs in order to sell it for $150

Sic semper tyrannis mechanis.

Amazingly enough, he remembered me because of my policy of taking Beethoven's birthday as a holiday.
A little joke that got a bit out of hand.
We still make a yearly pilgrimage downtown on that date for Christmas shopping.
He heard about that from Peter Brickman a potter friend of my first wife, Liz.

Pequeño mundo

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Movies, Bikes, Sherman

Last night we checked out Sherman Alexie's "The Business of Fancydancing" from the library partially because I wanted to see if I was in it.
I made it to screen for a second more or lass. Mentioned in the credits, too.
It was a crowd scene shot at Hugo House that a friend of mine (part of the book group) got me involved in.

Loads of fun.

Then, today I actually took on two tasks involving physical labor.
Mowed the lawn and rode the bike.

In one day!!!

14.1 miles in 1:15:44 hours at an 11.1 average with a 42.5 mph top speed for an accumulated total of 841 miles with temperatures in the 70 - 80 degree range

If I'm not careful, I'll be putting in 8-hour days again.
Like those poor Seattle Symphony workers.
Difference being, I don't have to, Gerry.
Plus I can actually enjoy myself.

As I'm doing right this very moment

I even managed to climb the hill on the freeway overpass.
And Plus Also the Dead Horse Canyon Holyoke street hill that used to be a walker.

I tell ya, this "old age thing" is nowhere as awful as it was made out to be.

Why, I never felt better in my li...ack!.....

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Adolf Hitler, Al Franken, Gerry Schwarz

Well I thought I had class today but I didn't get the day right.

But it was a downtown adventure.
First off the battery on the Scooter was dead.
Charged it up enough to get going but had to kick start after that.
But, I did get to Caffe Ladro for the Coffee and peanut butter cookie.
And to the library for some high speed online time.
They give you 90 minutes now.
Looked up some interesting stuff about Uncle Gerry. Later on that.

Victrola for a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, cheese, and cilantro.
And a Boylan (family run since 1891) black cherry soda.

The big news is from the Seattle times.
The big "G" will step down at the end of his contract (2011)
There are interesting comments by the Stranger and the NY Times.
Check out

  • Gathering Note

  • For those links.

    As the articles all point out G.S. has done a lot for the Seasymph.
    So thanks for that, Ger.
    And while we're at it thanks for the Volkswagen, Adolf Hitler.

    Who also had "loyal friends".

    Ilkka Talvi is mentioned, the friction has been "negotiated" so every thing is hunky dory now and everyone is giddy with glee.

    But do keep reading

  • Ilkka Talvi

  • Last thing I remember about the SSO is their tendency to turn like a shark in a feeding frenzy and devour anyone who seemed vulnerable.
    That would be ME.
    And Ilkka, of course, but mainly ME!

    So, screw 'em!

    So, anyway it turns out that school doesn't start for another two weeks.

    And neither did the Vespa when I went to wend my way alone along the riverrun to home again.

    That little bugger has a lot of compression!

    Oh, yeah, Al Franken won the Minnesota senate primary.
    Someone with brains in public office!
    At least he is a smart ass.
    We've got to stick together or surely we will get stuck

    Minnesota did elect Jesse Ventura governor so there's that.

    Plus they did turn down my wonderful orchestral piece which I titled "Minnesota" in their honor.

    The ingrates!

    But I have my doubts,

    Al's time was decades ago.


    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Petal point

    Eight oared racing shells along the lake, peach juice and a tuna salad sandwich on top of old Queen Anne, a diversion across the I-90 corridor nice weather whatta wonderful day.
    Except for the complaining about the ride from C.O. Jones, the bike is working beautifully.

    Splog, (I put that word in all the bike posts so I can find them again to check how I'm progressing)

    44.3 miles
    3:55:31 hours
    11.2 average speed
    37.5 maximum speed
    827 accumulated miles

    Temperature 63 - 82 degrees (Worth a Phd?)


    Life in the slow lane

    O.K. Monday Repaired a wheelbarrow
    Tuesday I repaired a wheelbarrow
    We now have two big wheelbarrows, one small wheel barrow, and a two wheel yard cart.

    Otta be anuff.

    Plus, yesterday a brother in law gave us two bicycles he dint wunt enny moor.
    There was a neighbor who may or may not have expressed a desire for a bike at the block party so I thought I might give one of 'em to her.
    The other is a 21 speed trail bike with springs and shock absorbers.
    So I'll ride that for awhile and see what it's like.

    School starts tomorrow, I've switched from the bus to the Vespa for transport, at least while the weather holds.

    I'll be working on the flute concerto which I've recently rewritten the first movement of which by to and for

    Boredom and terror, a fine balance of those two is keeping my own useless self wracked with tension and aching back.

    Haven't written any new music for a month or so, 'what's the point' sort of thing.

    I am planning to don my "Day of Music" t-shirt and go downtown on the 14th just to see what happens.
    Makes me nervous.
    Chickening out will make me more nervous.
    A typical lose-lose situation.

    But life is made of a series of losing situations.
    Whattaya gonna do about it?

    Remember, we're all staked out in like lion bait in this life absolutely and completely alone.

    Labels: ,

    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Bicycle Sunday

    Canoe races along the lake, lots of kiddies and parents in the middle of the road, the usual Speedo speeders whizzing by.
    Took the 15.5 trip to Queen Anne Starbucks but refrained from coffee, had fruit juice instead and a "protein plate" (boiled egg, grapes, apple, bran bagel, cheese, and peanut butter (which I didn't eat).
    No more energy but a little less gas.
    I managed to ride all the hills.

    Distance - 31.8 miles
    Time - 2:46:55
    Average speed - 11.4
    Maximum speed - 34.7
    Total miles - 782
    Temperature 63 - 79 degrees, a nice summerend day

    Other than that I continue to vegetate, cogitate, and deteriorate.


    Friend of mine

    Shredder Number Three, Acrylic, Collage on Board, Deborah F. Lawrence, 2008 Photo: Lynn Thompson

    Deborah's gallery

    And, speaking of Uncle Gerry,

    Harry Partch stories

    Harry Partch is one of the links found on this interesting site.

    John Clare


    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    This is the dancer I was talking about.

  • Sheri Brown
  • Salon

    Was great.
    The best part was David's three numerology inspired piano pieces.
    Unfortunately the evening was made uncomfortable when Gerry Schwarz showed up (his son Julian, a cellist, played in Gavin Borcherd's piano trio piece).

    Life just seems to love shoving my face in it.

    At least the Volvo ran right.
    The earlier problem was simply due to a failure on my part to do the complete service that I had planned at 300,000 miles.

    I had hoped to be able to relate my experience at the Thursday dance program but
    wet blanket events have really taken the edge off it all.

    But, anyway, it was an 80 minute Butoh-movement inspired event performed by Sheri Brown and Lin Lucas.

    They created a mesmerizing "floating world" narrative that included imagery from the sublime to the grotesque (at one point they donned gas masks)
    The dance continued through three pieces played without pause.

    The gas masks were utilized during the piece by Keith Eisenbrey (hellofa nice guy)

    Keith also contributed his ping-pong ball chord wherein buckets (two) of balls were tossed on the dancers.
    In the context, they seemed to represent the kind of deeper meaning that ocean waves or wind can inspire.

    Keits's piece was titled "Improvising a Framework for Composition so as to Compose my thoughts About Improvisation", it was the second.

    The other two pieces were, first "Wake" by Aaron Keyt.
    And last "Three Rings of Gradus, for Fux, Tesla, and Milo the Wrestler".

    It was in this last that I was involved.

    The ping-pong balls having done their dance earlier in the piece were scattered around the floor and the dancers began picking them up and handing them to the audience.
    I was handed six of them after which the dancers moved through the audience and out of my sight.
    So I sort of continued the dance by manipulating them in my hands in various configurations, row, columns, hexagrams, pentagrams with a ball on top, two triangles, molecules, etc, constantly moving and changing to the accompaniment of the music, which consisted of pretty much all the ways that "A" can be played on the piano.

    Hypnotic, Mesmerizing.

    I felt, when I accepted the balls, that I was sealing a pact of some sort with the world created by the dancers, creating a bridge between me, stuck here in mundania, and the fulfilling world of the creative imagination.

    Somebody else's imagination, that is, I'm already stuck with mine and welcome to it.

    So the Volvo just had to crap out on me on the way home half way up the hill on Ryan way just to keep things in balance, reality being a jealous master (at least I was able to back off the road out of fairly heavy traffic to wait for the tow truck.
    A truck summoned by a nice lady in a Lexus (I think it was an Lexus, cars all look alike to me these days).

    So I want to thank her again for stopping.

    Ir was the distributor cap or the rotor, something on this car that can suddenly just pop for no apparent reason. It's happened before and I should have changed as routine maintenance.

    So there you go.


    Friday, September 05, 2008


    I wanted to tell you about yesterday;
    Like how I drove the Vespa to my dentist appointment and then to Victrola for a croissant and coffee and then to SCCC where you can park scooters for free and then walked the library for a bit on on line time and then walked to city hall for a concert by Simple Measures then walked back to SCCC to pick up the Vespa and drive to Queen Anne for a cookie and coffee and then to the grocery store for bread and then home again in time to catch a little nap before going to the Chapel for a mesmerizing dance performance that included buckets of tennis balls that were used to connect the performance and the audience in a 'floating world' atmosphere, but on the way home the Volvo stopped running in an embarrassing place and I had to get towed home so that I have to spend the day repairing cars in hopes of having a ride to the salon tonight (also at the Chapel)

    So that's what I'm doing and good day to you, sir


    Wednesday, September 03, 2008


    Out and back.
    Up Lk wash blvd, cross I-90 bridge, to Factoria then back along the same route.
    28.9 miles
    in 2:33:16 hours
    at 11.3 avg speed
    max speed 36.1 mph
    750 accumulated miles.

    Coulda done another 10 or 20 easy.

    Ahhh...much better!

    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    You can run

    Nice day.
    Went to Sedro Wooley to visit a lawyer that a brother in law recommended.
    The high point of the day for me was when I mentioned leaving SSO a penny.
    "You mean not a penny?" he says

    "No," says I, "A penny,... it's an insult."

    After a brief explanation of my experience, with that doofus organization, he then went on a bit as how he doesn't like Gerry and doesn't know anybody who does.

    I got the feeling that he might have represented some of the abused folks from that institution.

    I also have a Relation-in-law who is a therapist, says she has had SSO people as clients.

    DAMN client confidentiality!

    A heart warming thing to hear. Anyway it was a nice trip since we strayed off I-5 and toured the lesser road (530, I believe) out of Arlington and up to North Cascades hwy. to Sedro Wooley.
    We got there early and spent some time wandering the street.
    Found a Art store where Meredith bought an amusing hat made of red feathers.

    Found hwy 9 out of S.W. and a leisurely jaunt down through Bothell and home.

    My spies in the San Francisco scene report that MTT is a conscientious and socially responsible citizen.

    I can say no more.


    There's a way

    We are off today to visit a lawyer in Sedro Wooley to write up some wills.
    Added up all our stuff and found out we have lots.
    So we've got to divvy it up for the next generation.

    Hoping I get to keep enough to spend on promoting my mediocre music.

    I'm thinking of leaving a penny to the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.


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