Sunday, April 29, 2012

This is what I saved of the last month of the blog . . . . (and I kinda like the typos, so won't be changing them)

Shaking the dust from my feet. . . .

Saturday at 11:59 p.m.

Sunday at 12:00 a.m.

 So, they got neither the day of the week, nor the day of the month correct.  And this after multiple inquiries on their Facebook page, and a telephone call to HQ from a local blogger.

This I had typed on their facebook page.  But didn't hit send.  Decided not to throw more pearls before swine. . . .   The archives, BTW, are now permanently gone.  Book burning of the first water.  Swine doesn't begin to cover it.

When Jim inherited Howard's blog , DFA had close to a million names.  I joined Kos the same month, my number was 8743.  Kos is now at 341,310.  You have  39,919 likes on facebook.  You just killed the blog. Took you eight years, a ton of neglect, and some breathtaking incompetency to do it.  Congratulations.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Time to say goodbye to yesterday

Time to say goodbye to yesterday
This is where the cowboy rides away

And as the credits roll, the sad song starts to play
This is where the cowboy rides away

Thursday, April 26, 2012

On the occasion of the possible last thread. . . .

Mars Sunset

This could be

This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need...of some...stranger's hand
In a...desperate land

Rendered by publius on April 26, 2012

[Its certainly not mine
By publius on Apr 26, 2012 8:44 PM EDT
just lifting lyrics and music of the Doors from Youtube and the some of the high cost filming of Coppola's Apocalypse
Documentary on them stated all credits on all recordings went to the Doors and not any of them individually including Morrison]

There's a new Pew Poll out

which rePublicans have taken as their own, as proving their superiority.  Since they hate so much Democrats doing it, I kinda wondered. . .   But then I remembered: IOKIYAR. . . .

And what they're puffing themselves up about?  They did better on a 13 question phone poll.  (I took it, got a hundred percent, but it didn't make me feel especially terrific.  First grade questions, lol!)  What the poll revealed, to me, was how badly we need some actual edumacation in this country.

This is the poll if you want to take it: 

The other thing that puzzled me was *that* coupled with *this* --

Excerpt: On eight of 13 questions about politics, Republicans outscored Democrats by an average of 18 percentage points, according to a new Pew survey titled “Partisan Differences in Knowledge.” The Pew survey adds to a wave of surveys and studies showing that GOP-sympathizers are better informed, more intellectually consistent, more open-minded, more empathetic and more receptive to criticism than their fellow Americans who support the Democratic Party. [my empahsis]

 There doesn't appear to be any back up for this claim, and I *did* look.  Just repeats of the original post claiming same. 

So what we have is: 13 questions, and maybe five minutes time (Is that stretching it?  I dunno.) versus this: an in depth, twenty plus year study. . . . 

Study: Whiny Kids Become Republicans

From the Toronto Star:
Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.
At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.
The study from the Journal of Research Into Personality isn’t going to make the UC Berkeley professor who published it any friends on the right. Similar conclusions a few years ago from another academic saw him excoriated on right-wing blogs, and even led to a Congressional investigation into his research funding.
But the new results are worth a look. In the 1960s Jack Block and his wife and fellow professor Jeanne Block (now deceased) began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality. The kids’ personalities were rated at the time by teachers and assistants who had known them for months. There’s no reason to think political bias skewed the ratings — the investigators were not looking at political orientation back then. Even if they had been, it’s unlikely that 3- and 4-year-olds would have had much idea about their political leanings.
A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective. [emphasis mine]

The original story from the Star is no longer available -- I picked this source because she has the most complete quote. 

Monday, April 23, 2012



"Hurry up," the poet said,
"It's time," time
time in that sort of
"runic rhyme" another said,
and there isn't much left
as if it were the store
the Prophet Elijah left of
flour and wine, never
diminished each day, but
time doesn't work that way.
We do.

To finish, I remember
how much I loved
hearing my Samoan
students, my eighth
grade bandits as we
called them, shout,
"Finish" when a tedious
assignment ended.  "Finish"
and for me too, I've
always wanted, "Finish" to
see how the ending went
a surprise or a prediction,
and then I'd know, understand
and the next time I'd be
prepared except, time doesn't
work that way.  It doesn't
work at all.  We do.

As if it's some marathon
we find ourselves in
for our lifetime, and we
don't know how far or long
we'll run, and we know we won't
be winners now.  We feel our joints
our lack of energy.

But, we have to finish
our projects, I say, and then
the poetry, the music,
the photographs, who
will really care, and who will
even look at what we've
done, just another
generation in its own
marathon, running towards
a finish they will never know,
but wanting to after years,
to shout as my students
did, "Finish!" and oh,
the joy of it.

 ~~ Pat Maslowski  April 23, 2012

Time Juggling

There is a Christian tradition
of a common bond
"the communion of saints"
stretching backward and forward
through time and beyond.

Sinners like you and me
and humanity writ large
travel on the parade route
hoping god loves clowns
and jugglers.

We juggle time-temptations
hoping someone finds it amusing
(most likely children if not he who shall not be named)
and paint our faces to hide our fears
knowing parades end.

By Phil Specht on April 23, 2012


The Page You Are Looking For Does Not Exist.

(Your comment was successfully added.)

and the blog started by Howard Dean
disappears into the e-ther
like a Presidential campaign
activism successfully added.

not to worry

Homeland Security archives all
and e-historians may note
what magic keeps one conversation
going year after year after year

something about
"You have the power"
"What I want to know"
on a page that does not need
to exist.

By Phil Specht  April 23, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

One month past spring and two thirds away from summer. . . .

***The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the counties of Highland, Pendleton, Grant and Hardy from late tonight through Monday evening. There is potential for 2" to 4" of wet snow in these areas creating hazardous travel conditions, and caution is urged.***

So for Earth Day, we have Global Climate Instability on the plate. . . .

Yo Mama. . . .

Saturday, April 21, 2012

*Still in Love with Howard Dean*

Passing Them On

Nothing in culture
finds memory not useful.
Double negative in all lessons
ascribed to higher powers
but born in umbilical blood
and first cry.

Ideas might die
they will be re-born
every seed a resurrection
an insurrection
an arab spring.

Try and put it down
people power, freedom
you will not.

The next baby born
 is Mandela.  

By Phil Specht on April 21, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012


Vincent – A One Man Show

It's those spiraling lights
suns on a roller coaster ride.
You are outside with him
a candle in your hand
watching his brush swirl
the paint and you're not
sure which is brighter,
stars that you now see
as he sees or as he places
them on the canvas fused
with sky, blossoming.

His hand makes its own
story of creation expanding
into nights heating and pumping
beyond body into trees, village,
hills, and you are here as witness.

Too much resonance to be
contained in hand, skin, bones
the villagers in Arles mocked
him, chased him and pelted
him with stones. Despite his
agony he painted, left as surety
for unpaid rent his visions by
hand, heart, and soul that
he taught us to see and feel
a nature we would not discover
on our own. “ I cannot live
without being loved,” he said,
better to sleep, to become stone.
“You take a train to get to
the city, but it takes death
to get to a star.” Was this
his longing all along, to return
to Creation's burning source?

“Theo, I could die like this.” 


~~ Pat Maslowski  



Leonard Nimoy wrote and acted in 
Vincent, a one man show, published    
by Rumbleseat Productions, 2006
Chatsworth, CA.



    Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    Wardrobe note: wear suspenders

    The clothes make the man.

    if he is comfortable in his own skin

    only at first impression.

    A costume.

    But a gaze

    then nearer still a touch

    and it all disappears.


    a moth in daylight

    cannot smell

    at night drawn to flame

    And crossing mid stage

    and exit to the left

    an approach for pause

    mid line

    turning, leading lady,

    to catch your eye.

    To meet in eternity.

    By Phil Specht on April 17, 2012

    Monday, April 16, 2012

    When a mind is great enough to ignore common prejudice. . . .
    As a young rake. . . .

    Many years ago, Herman Wolf was entertaining a guest at his parents' rural home near Bremen, Germany, when, in general conversation, Wolf's mother mentioned that a huge pond in their garden was "leaking".

    The guest said he might be able to help and immediately fashioned a forked dowsing rod.

    Taking the rod, he walked out to the pond and in a short time pinpointed the exact location of the underground flow that was draining the pond. The Wolfs were delighted and even more so when heir guest proceeded to teach them the fine points of the art of

    Herman Wolf was actually more amazed than delighted because his friend and guest was none other that the celebrated scientist Albert Einstein.

    -- George Cunningham-Tee
    Toronto Sun Syndicate

    Sunday, April 15, 2012


    leading photons on trails of gravity

    like harriers following lift south

    the spin changed when our night twin

    flew to the moon

    but water still flows downhill

    so divining rod in hand

    let me witch you a well

    pure and sweet as a sacrament


    By Phil Specht on April 15, 2012

    Over at the Achalasia board this morning I was thinking how much every place I blog (with the *notable* exception of here) comes with the same cast of characters. . . . The YES-BUT, the Catastrophiser, the Negative-Nelly, the Scorpion, the Do-Bees (gladly, they are more than the others), the Helper Bees, the Helpless, the Hopeless. True for both of my dating sites, the BBB, the A-group. Not so true of facebook, because you have more choice? Also, facebook heuristics seem to change who you see on your feed page, over time: those you respond to most often, show more often, those you read and pass on show less often. I was surprised to go checking on my peeps I hadn't seen for a while to note they had been posting all along, just not showing in my feed. So the essence of facebook is that you get more of what you like, less of what you don't -- which is more like what we do in real life, and much less like your average blog. . . .

    Friday, April 13, 2012

    Friday, April 13, 2012 6:47 PM, EDT

    Clear Scans!!!

    We also spent time talking with Ally's Oncologist today. As many of you know we are now done with the 3f8 treatment at MSKCC. We (Mommy and Daddy) are/were very nervous to completely stop treatment, as Neuroblastoma is very aggressive and tends to come back, usually with a vengeance. After talking with the doctor it is clear that any treatment (chemo, MIGB therapy, different antibodies, etc.) would just cause side effects, and is not proven to prevent the cancer from coming back. Not only would further treatment have a whole host of side effects, it would make whatever treatment we were doing less effective, should the tumor return. So...our plan is to completely stop treatment. Ally will continue to be scanned (MIBG only) every 3 months. This will expose her to less radiation (as the CT scan is relatively high radiation) and save her the pain of bone marrows. We are all hopeful that the chemo, radiation, surgeries, and 3f8 did what they were supposed to do, and that Ally will remain NED.

    We also spoke with the nutritionist at our NH Medical Center today. Ally has plateaued in her weight gain. She is stuck at 27.5 pounds (and today she was 38 inches tall). An average 3 year old girl weighs a little more than 27 pounds, and an average 5 year old girl should weigh around 40 pounds. A 3 and a half year old girl is around 38 inches, and a 5 year old girl should be closer to 43 inches. We are going to try a few changes to her diet to see if it will help with her 3-4 daily #2 bathroom trips (her food just goes right through her), and see if that helps her keep the weight on. It is also a possibility that she is just using all of her calories; because she is so active. Hopefully we will be able to get more weight on her, and hopefully, since her 2nd tooth came out tonight she will eat better as well!

    That's all for now! (Except that we are looking into starting her immunizations up again, as she has none at this point and we are trusting in the Concord community to immunize their kids, so Ally won't get polio as well!) We will scan again in July. We all have vacation in a couple of weeks, and we are excited about the upcoming warm weather. Have a fantastic weekend. Hopefully I will not have to update for a while!!!

    This just in (it isn’t even up on her message board yet!)

    Clear Scans for Ally!!!

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Yesterday, my friends who gave me The Goobey

    had a baby hummingbird fly in the window. She thought it was a bumble bee, lol! Found some emergency hummer food (doesn't normally use the red stuff), fed him and he flew away.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    DOZD 2012 Sanandaj Iran

    Monday, April 09, 2012

    Monday, April 9, 2012 12:37 PM, EDT

    This Friday is going to be a lucky Friday the 13th. That is the day Ally will have her MIBG scan. Since she is off treatment and has been in remission for 2 years we are down to just one scan!

    We will also have a sit down with the oncologist to discuss what our next steps will be.

    Please keep Ally in your prayers for continued clear scans!

    Friday, April 06, 2012

    hattip to the Llama song

    Monday, April 02, 2012